SEVERED: FOREST OF THE DEAD
Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
When a group of environmentalist and a forestry company battle over a game of save the forest, one of the woodsmen gets infected by a genetic experiment. Once infected, they start to crave human flesh and get all zombie on each other. Which is bad for them and good for us.
Is it good movie?
The forest is one of the best places as a setting for a horror movie. As the Friday the 13th series has proven, there is something terrifying about being cut off from civilization and lost in all those humungous trees. Now if you add zombies to the mix, you’ve got yourself one pretty good horror flick, if done right. And the unfortunately titled Severed: Forest of the Dead is just that, a zombie flick done right. During a battle of wills between environmentalists and a forestry company, a woodsman is infected with a deadly virus, which turns him into a flesh eating monster. After the first attack, we find that the forestry company has lost contact with the group. Fearing that the environmentalist may have caused some trouble, the president sends his son Tyler (Paul Campbell) out to check on the situation. When he arrives, he makes the gruesome discovery of one the men chowing down on another. He soon discovers a band of survivors that have to find shelter from the onslaught of zombies.
From the description given here and looking at the box, you are bound to skip this and go for porn. But there is a surprising amount of meat here. Those who survive the first few rounds of attacks are pretty damn good actors. This includes Paul Campbell and Sarah Lind who plays one of the environmentalists, both of them give strong performances and kept me rooting for their survival. I also appreciated Julian Christopher who plays Mac and Michael Teigen as Luke. Both work for the forestry company and I found myself looking out for these guys. Thankfully, the script really gives them something to work for. Given the kind of movie this is, the script is very well written and it also has some interesting ideas behind it. It’s nice to see a horror movie attempt to build character instead of just create fodder.
On the raw side I did have problems with a few of the directing choices. Although mostly well handled, I would have liked to see a little less of the “shaky cam”. Much of the time it worked but every so often I would have liked to see what was going on a little more clearly in regards to the zombies. And I also had problems with the character Carter, played by J.R. Bourne who tends to over do it early on in the film. He seems to get more comfortable with the role later on but in those opening moments after the attacks begin, I think the director should have pulled him back a little. And finally, although a minor point… these technically weren’t zombies. The un-dead crawl from their graves, they don’t suffer from some violent, horrible disease. That is not really a zombie, but alas I still dug this up like a date and a fresh grave.
Video / Audio
The copy I had was a screener and the Video looked to be 1:78.1 widescreen. Not a great transfer because there were quite a few grainy spots.
Again this was a screener but we do get the Trailer at the beginning of the film.
If you like zombie movies with a little bit more to say than just gore, gore, gore, than this is the perfect movie for you. Yes, it’s gory but it also takes it’s time to build character and let you give a crap about these people. I really liked the actors here; Paul Campbell carried the film well and gave it a real dude vibe. I also appreciated Sarah Lind as the girl out to save the forest, she was very believable and both she and Paul played off of each other very well. So if you are looking for a smarter zombie flick with character development and enough intestines to keep you happy, Severed may be for you. Seriously though, what is up with the title and packaging? Who the hell handled the marketing for this flick? This is NOT the movie that is represented on the box, for better or worse. I'd personally have to go with better.