Posts Tagged ‘John Wells’

Zombie Movie Night: August has a history of getting screwed up, what with vacation schedules and all, but this year my brother and I were able to cram it in before either of us hit the road. First up was:

Overtime

Overtime

If you’re a fan of 90’s era professional wrestling, then you probably recognize Al Snow as the mannequin wielding leader of the JOB Squad. Snow’s wrestling days are done, so now he’s working on his SAG card. In Overtime, Snow and his sidekick, John Wells, play Robin Hood-esque hitmen. They work with a defense attorney who puts them on the case of any particularly heinous criminals that she has just gotten off the hook in court (I suppose that saves people money in the long run, ya’know, incarceration costs and all). Snow is also portrayed as a hen-pecked family man with a nagging wife and ungrateful kids. He is charged with picking up a birthday present and cake for the son whose birthday he forgot, but then simultaneously gets assigned to take out a drug dealer who has designed a new addictive substance, with zombie-like results of course.

THE GOOD: Overtime is moderately funny and entertaining. Snow does a pretty good job, as do the rest of the cast. I might be a bit biased, because I always liked Snow’s schtick in WWE, ECW, and as a trainer on Tough Enough.

THE BAD: The filmmakers must have had some difficulty with their audio equipment because whenever there is dialogue outside, it appears as if everyone dubbed over their lines. It’s a bit jarring and made it feel like I was watching a Japanese movie even though I was pretty sure everyone could speak English.

THE ZOMBIES: Fast moving zombies who have been infected by an alien drug. They sometimes sprout appendages, which our heroes refer to as penises, but they’re otherwise pretty standard fast zombies.

VERDICT: Overtime falls in the mid-range of zombie movies. Recommended for zombie fans or fans of Al Snow. I don’t think it would convert anyone not already in one of those two camps, but there are worse ways to spend an hour and a half. Grade: B

Current ZMN Rank: #70 out of 148

Golden Zombey WatchAl Snow and John Wells may be in contention for Best Actor and Supporting Actor. Other nods might be in Best Zombie Comedy and Memorable Massacring for the Boss Fight at the climax of the film.

The Battery

The Battery

The Battery is a low budget, independent flick that I had been waiting to come out on DVD for a little while before I discovered that you could buy a digital copy off of the film’s website for $5. I figured, “What the hell? Worth a shot, right?” After some technological maneuvering, we were able to get The Battery up on my brother’s television. I’m glad it worked out, because this is one hell of a film.

Ben and Mickey are two (I’m presuming minor league) baseball players, traveling the northeast amongst the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. They’re not exactly friends, but rather two dudes who just happened to be together when the world went to Hell. Mickey is a sensitive fella who longs for what was lost and escapes from reality in a set of headphones. Ben is more of a realist and is more settled in the duo’s bleak existence. There’s some minor conflict between them that becomes escalated when they catch wind of a group of survivors who are not interested in taking on new members.

THE GOOD: Ben and Mickey are the only two characters on screen for most of the movie (Hell, even the zombies don’t get a whole lot of screen time), so a lot depends on their interactions and dialogue. Luckily, the film delivers and the result is an invested viewer. Too many movies focus more on the monsters, but the successful ones have characters you care about.

THE BAD: If I’m pressed to find a negative, some zombie enthusiasts might feel that the pace of the film is too slow or balk at the lack of gore. I don’t agree though, so “Screw you!” group of people I just made up!

THE ZOMBIES: Classic shufflin’ zombies that are straight out of a Romero movie or an episode of The Walking Dead.

VERDICT: The Battery is a great example of what the genre is capable of. Sometimes I question why my brother and I carve out time every month to watch (frequently terrible) zombie movies. Then, we catch a movie like The Battery, and my faith is restored. Do yourself a favor, forgo buying that sexy poster of Daryl Dixon, and spend your money on a download of The Battery. Grade: A

Current ZMN Rank: #12 out of 148

Golden Zombey Watch: I expect to see Jeremy Gardner and Adam Cronheim on the ballot in Acting categories. Also a near-lock for Best Soundtrack, awesome independent music prominently featured throughout the film.

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