I’m always dubious about movies made from videogames. Make that a zombie videogame, and it redoubles my doubt. Zombies have become a cultural metaphor made to represent so many disparate things that their significance has been diluted by over-saturation via distinct media: movies, videogames, books, even music (the Cranberries, Nightcore, The Misfits, Blue Oyster Cult).
Still, I love zombies and hopefully this will serve as a delectable tease to what you can expect throughout this year’s Geektoberfest, where I will explore the cinematic history of the zombie narrative. This is where zombie movies are now. In October, I will explain how we got here.
Suffice it to say that even though I don’t have high expectations about the current state of the zombie, I’m an eternal optimist. So I decided to watch and talk about these movies. Spoiler Alert: They are NOT good.
Alas, oh Mustache, say it isn’t so! (Do people still say “Alas!”?) Did people EVER say “Alas”? You can always tell when I don’t like something. It takes me a while to get to it and I beat around the bush, a lot.
The first movie of our Double Feature is Dead Rising: Watchtower (2015). It is an American, action, zombie horror film loosely based on the Capcom videogame. It starred Jesse Metcalfe, Dennis Haysbert, Virginia Madsen, Meghan Ory, Keegan Connor Tracy, and Rob Riggle.
The narrative begins with a reporter, Chase Carter, and his cameraperson, Jordan Blair, slipping into a quarantined zone in Oregon, where the anti-viral drug Zombrex is being administered by the Federal Emergency Zombie Agency to the infected, in order to control the outbreak. However, rather than quell the symptoms, this specific pallet of drugs seems to exacerbate the situation.
As they flee the FEZA facility, Chase and Jordan manage to find a grieving mother, Maggie and an infected survivor Crystal, to help them through the crisis. Of course, the army comes in with the stereotypical General Lyons whose response to the epidemiological nightmare is to raze and destroy.
The plot is inane. It blows. The acting by Jesse Metcalfe is horrific. The dialogue is trite and thin. Motivation is ridiculous and suffers what is the worst thing that could be the case in an action movie. It’s boring.
About the only positive is that one of the cool features of the videogame, weapon construction, is carried over into the movie. However, even though it’s a cool feature, it’s not enough to save this movie.
Dead Rising: Endgame is supposed to be better than its predecessor. It is a 2016 action, zombie horror film. Jesse has once again found himself in a quarantined zone where he has captured on camera General Lyons ordering the death of a source. George Hancock is a courageous whistleblower.
Sandra Lowe is Chase’s girlfriend and an incredible hacker. Garth is great at killing zombies in a videogame. In fact, he’s playing Dead Rising when they try to enlist his assistance. Rand is the scientist performing experiments on the infected. He is supposed to find a cure.
I can’t continue. This movie is as bad as it’s predecessor. The plot is even more inane than the first movie. The action is boring. Jesse Metcalfe is still a bad actor. Again, the weapons are cool. Marie Avgeropoulos is probably the best thing about this movie, and she is not in it enough.
I think the movie strays farther away from the videogame franchise, but it also looks really good. So in terms of quality, I might say that the sequel is better, but as far as faithfulness, the first movie was better. Still and all, it hurts me to trash these movies. Ultimately, I have to stick with my original thought. These movies are not good.