So far this season, it’s seemed like there haven’t been a lot of exciting or new zombie movies becoming available (or maybe it just seems like a lull considering how many zombie films were released in theaters last year). However, this month 2 new movies that I had my eye on just became available on Netflix. Expectations were high…a dangerous, dangerous place to be. Let’s see how they made out.
This is the 2nd film included in ZMN with the title Zombie Night. The first was as low as low budget gets, ranked pretty low in the standings, but was somewhat enjoyable on a laughingly bad level. This new Zombie Night sets itself apart….with STAR POWER….sort of. It features the previously famous Anthony Michael Hall and Daryl Hannah. It was also directed by Project Green Light winner John Gulager (director of the Feast trilogy and son of Return of the Living Dead’s Golden Zombey nominee, Clu Gulager). The movie itself features very little plot, as it follows a group of people trying to survive a night full of zombies.
THE GOOD: If you thought all the stars of Zombie Night had names on the poster, you’re in for a treat because Zombie Night also features Alan Ruck, Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! All of the name actors give decent performances and the movie appears to be adequately put together.
THE BAD: Unfortunately, it’s really just not very much fun. Gulager’s Feast movies weren’t great, but they were campy and had a certain silly charm. Zombie Night has none of that, as everything is played straight, but without anything particularly new or interesting.
THE ZOMBIES: Pretty standard zombies, except that for some reason the outbreak only lasts one night. All the survivors have to do is make it to morning. At the end of the film, it’s unclear whether the zombies will raise again tomorrow night.
VERDICT: Zombie Night brings nothing to the table that hasn’t been done better by someone else. It’s not terrible, but it is incredibly forgettable. Grade: C
Current ZMN Rank: #81 out of 138
Golden Zombey Watch: Anthony Michael Hall and Daryl Hannah for Best Actor and Actress? Maybe, why not? Zombie Night’s best chance might be in Unintentional Comedy for the police officer who dooms more people than he saves.
Stalled has a simple premise: A man stuck in bathroom stall when the zombie apocalypse strikes. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like there’d be enough meat there to flesh out a whole hour and a half film, but people said the same thing about Booty Call, and Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for that!
THE GOOD: I found Stalled to be quite enjoyable. Having a single, small location allows this low-budget production to succeed without trying to stretch past its limitations. Our hero is stuck in the bathroom when zombies destroy the Christmas party that was occurring in the office outside. Part of the fun of this movie is wondering what kind of craziness happened at that party, as not only did it have zombies, but also multiple people (and little people) dressed up in ridiculous Christmas costumes.
THE BAD: There’s not too much fault to be found here, given the low budget nature of the film. I did find it pretty implausible that the hero would have someone to talk to in his position. I wasn’t really buying that two people ended up in such an unlikely circumstance.
THE ZOMBIES: Regular zombies, maybe extra stupid or under-motivated as they couldn’t crack the nut of gaining entry into a bathroom stall.
VERDICT: I give Stalled a hearty recommendation. It does a nice job of telling a different kind of zombie tale while still remaining entertaining and amusing. Grade: B+
Current ZMN Rank: #37 out of 138
Golden Zombey Watch: The film hinges on the performance of Dan Palmer, the main actor, and he does a nice job. I like his chances of making it onto the ballot. It will probably contend for Best Zombie Comedy as well.