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Dead Rising: Watchtower (2015)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Zach Lipovsky

Starring:
Jesse Metcalfe/Chase
Meghan Ory/Crystal
Virginia Madsen/Maggie
Rob Riggle/Frank
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Reporter Chase Carter (Jesse Metcalfe) gets stuck behind closed walls within a quarantined city with a bunch of flesh eating zombies. He makes new allies and they try to fight their way out!
THE LOWDOWN
I own the 2006 DEAD RISING video game, I’ve played it a couple of times, had fun with it, got stuck somewhere, eventually gave up on it and moved on! The only thing I remember from the game is that lots of it was set in a mall (like Dawn of the Dead) and we were able to make makeshift weapons to whack Zombies with, which was pretty nifty. So there ya have it! That’s my relationship with the DEAD RISING video game! So did I yearn for a movie version of it? Shit, the thought of one never even crossed my one brain cell, yet alone yearn for it. But I got one anyways by way of Legendary Pictures who produced it (as their first digital film) and are releasing it through Crackle (today, on March 27, 2015 that is). So was it worth my time?  Well…ummm... not really...

DEAD RISING wasn’t awful by any means; it was just incredibly unremarkable on every front. Looking back to write this, I am having trouble remembering the film. That's never a good thing.  Think a TV movie with gore (I hear that a TV series is on the way as well). The film had me mildly engaged throughout with its déjà vu story (Dawn of the Dead meets Escape from New York), it sported a handful of slick camera tricks (dug the weapon POV shots, felt liked they used GoPros), some of the gore gags delivered and the Zombie makeup looked pretty badass (that little girl Zombie and that undead clown were dope). The cast on hand was pretty solid too! Jesse Metcalfe made for an affable and credible hero but I did find it odd that he played a “not from the game” guy named Chase Carter when he looked exactly like the character from the game Frank West (which is played here by Rob Riggle who looks nothing like the dude in the game). You get all that?! Did it make any sense? Either way, weird move there Mr. Filmmakers!

On her end, Bates Motel alumni Keegan Connor Tracy classed up the joint with her earnest and charismatic showcase and it was a trip to witness Meghan Ory and Miss Candyman Virginia Madsen (Where you been girl?) mess some Zombies up.  Finally, you’re either going to think Rob Riggle is funny as shit here as an "expert" guest on a News Show… or not. He made me laugh, hence the lad was all good in my book! I relished his chemistry with Carrie Genzel (as the News Achor) who basically played the straight girl to his “wild man”. Well done kids!  Alas there was little about DEAD RISING that truly stood out, grabbed me or whacked me around. The shooting style was for the most part fairly standard, the action scenes were handled in a basic fashion, the run time was way too long, the "Mad Max" reject bad guys who dig the Zombie chaos bored me and the plot turns were fairly predictable all the way through.

The lack of physical get-downs got to me too. I mean, the flick went all out in the beginning and at the end, but one key action scene aside (Chase messing up a horde of Zombies solo), the flick bla-bla-ed me to death during its middle section. At about 40 minutes in, I wanted to turn it off as I felt like I was wasting a tiny chunk of my life. I’m actually wasting more of my life just writing about it right now. I gotta stop this... yeah, I am calling it a day on this one.  Look, maybe folks who are HUGE into the game will get more out of this than I did. But as a guy that somewhat knows the game, this was a forgettable sit down, one I could have done without. If they ever do a sequel or when that TV show flies, I’ll be skipping them both. DEAD RISING, go back to the grave! Not for me!

GORE
We get crushed zombies, blood splats, messy bites, severed limbs, sharp objects in Zombie heads and more!
T & A
Ding-dong? Ding-dong? Ding-dong? Nobody’s home.
BOTTOM LINE
Although “watchable” DEAD RISING: WATCHTOWER reeked of been there done that! It didn’t give me anything new, was predictable and worse of all it gunned out its goods (visuals, story, action) in a pedestrian way. Sure the cast was solid, some of the gore gags owned, the Zombies looked swell and the humor was often “on” (Rob Riggle and Carrie Genzel had me going) but on the whole, I watched it, it ended, and I pretty much forgot all about it. Maybe if I knew the game (s) inside out I’d feel different and would have gotten more out of it, but as-is…MEH! Just watch Dawn of the Dead or/and its remake again instead!
BULL'S EYE
The flick was directed by Canadian director Zach_Lipovsky who was also behind Leprechaun: Origins (2013)
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