THE QUICK AND THE UNDEAD
Reviewed by: Dave Murray
What's it about
Eighty two years in the future, the world has been ravaged by a viral zombie outbreak, leaving it in a lawless, Old West kind of way. Ryn (Clint Glenn) is a bounty hunter, collecting zombie fingers for a sweet cash reward. But when bad guy Blythe Remington (Parrish Randall) and his posse leave Ryn for dead, he follows them not only for revenge, but for a town full of zombies just ripe for the picking! Sit back and enjoy folks, cause it's gutmunchin' time... western style!
Is it good movie?
I so wanted to like this flick in the worst way. I mean, when I hear the terms zombie and western in the same sentence my ears perk up like a chihuahua on a meth binge. It started with a cooler than cool concept (a futuristic western horror movie....nice!), the story was solid, and both the opening shot and the catchy as hell title sequence had me stoked from the beginning for the flesh eating festivities. Unfortunately, all of the promise that the movie showed disappeared faster than a buffet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.
First off, I know Clint Glenn was a producer on the flick and all, but he was so thoroughly wrong for the lead role. His performance was dry and overacted, and he tried so very hard to be a sort of 'Indiana Jones' cool type of hero. And his voice acting was so terrible I wanted him to become one of the walking dead just so he wouldn't have any more lines! As well, the other performances are stiff and generic, often written as to be so derivitive of other films as to make this one so laughably bad. Does the painful scream of "Choke on 'em!" while a character gets his guts munched sound familiar? How about when the villain (who was about as menacing and convincing as an overly medicated poodle) says flatly to our hero that "there is no bounty you can possess that I cannot take away"? Yeah, I thought those sounded familiar.
I was expecting a wickedly cool western with some sweet zombie gore, and let's just say that the while the effects were impressive on a first-year film school level, all pretense of this being a western boiled down to the characters wearing freaking cowboy hats! That's it! The gore was poorly done, and the film was both amateurishly shot and lighted. After the cool promise of the opening scene (which would have been better served without Glenn's hammy voice over), the flick fails to capitalize on any of its potential, looking like a 'shot-on-video' project that no one had the time to even digitally process in the right way. As well, throughout the movie you can see shimmering glimpses of promise and coolness just under the surface, then they too would vanish completely leaving you unsatisfied and, I'll admit, a little bored.
Another thing that pissed me off about this movie was the zombies themselves. Weak makeup, a complete lack of dread or tension, and shitty camera work spoiled every shot that had one of the undead in it. Director Gerald Nott even went so far as to use the hokey camera effect that Alexander Witt used in Resident Evil Apocalypse, using different speeds and jump cuts to make the zombies seem 'more menacing'. All it did was make them supremely lame. Sorry guys, but it's an F for makeup and effects.
But I will give them an E for effort. The single female lead (Erin McCarthy) was the only credible actor in the whole movie, but she was tragically underused. The flick was fun in a 'grab a cold beer and kill ninety minutes with braindead drivel' sort of way, but other than that I wouldn't bother with it again. Which is a shame, because it could have been so much better. It was an honestly conceived flick that failed to come together. Too bad... we need more genre mixers out there. This just didn't live up to be one of them.
As an aside, did anyone else notice how the town mentioned on the cover and in the film never actually appeared? I mean, sure there was a large farmhouse (a new twist for a zombie flick, I'm sure)....but alas, no town....how sad.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1.
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Since this was a screener, there were no extras. Which was great, because I watched Day Of The Dead instead.
I guess if I want old-school western coolness mixed with zombie mayhem Romero-style, I'll have to wait. What could have been a cool new concept in zombie horror was wrecked by poor acting, even worse camera work, shitty execution and misdirected direction. I hope Nott fares better with his next flick, The Flesh Keeper, because as far as concepts go he has potential, and I hope this was a case of beginner's bad luck. Break the curse and make a decent flick, fella, I'm rooting for you!
Although, if you're compiling a 'best of the worst' marathon for a horror shindig or whatever, this one certainly belongs in the pile! The stink of cheese far outways the stink of flesh, but be warned....there be a bad movie here!