–Rise of the Zombies aired on Syfy, and is from The Asylum, so I was fully expecting this to be a huge knock off from some other movie out there.
It stars Mariel Hemingway, Chad Lindberg (Supernatural, CSI:NY), LeVar Burton (Star Trek franchise), Heather Hemmens (Hellcats), Ethan Suplee (My Name is Earl), & Danny Trejo (No, you won’t find his name mentioned in IMDb, for what ever reason).
Quick impressions: Trejo is subdued, it’s nice to see Suplee be an action-based character and it’s a bit of a slow start, but if you can get through it, Rise of the Zombies is not as bad as I thought it would be.
(Warning… there is some (one or two) seriously gory moments in this movie. If you’re even slightly squeamish, don’t be snacking while watching.)
The movies starts out in the thick of things, where a couple of humans are running for their lives from some zombies when they’re rescued by a bozo in an SUV. He then proceeds to drive down Lombard street at a high rate of speed. (Yes, that one in San Francisco) And of course, the B-movie CGI SUV goes rolling down the hill. Everyone dies, well, almost everyone.
We swap off to Alcatraz where a few folks are holed up, in what you’d presume to be a safe haven from zombies. But now, with walkers, it seems we have swimmers. Or as they’ve surmised, they drifted in with the tide!
As the zombies “wash ashore,” they seem to quickly find their way into every hallway of Alcatraz and the refugees find themselves forced to hide in cells. In the process, they shoot zombies and, get this, get into fist fights with them. Yep, fist fights.
Trejo is the hard-nosed, action guy. Hemingway and Burton are the scientists trying to figure out how to stop the plague, and everyone else is fodder with ‘tudes.
It’s basically a few folks tossed into your standard zombie-screwed world in San Francisco, and an interesting twisty look at the zombies and what they find out about the infections.
All this while a few of them leave the island and go looking for the scientist who said he had a cure.
After the first 15 or 20 minutes, I almost turned it off, but I thought I’d stick it out to one more commercial break, and that’s when a story started to break out behind all the characters.
It kept me around to the end. The movie started touching on some new angles on zombies but didn’t quite carry through. They were on to something, but missed the punch. (If you like new angles to zombies, check out my take on a book I recently read, called I, Zombie.)
Still, it was entertaining enough to see how problems/challenges that were presented, resolved themselves.
Don’t go out of your way but if you see Rise of the Zombies on your TV schedule, I don’t think you have to run from it. It should be an OK B-movie time-filler.