In the near future, a highly addictive and popular street drug called Natas has turned the population of the world into flesh eating zombies. Now only a handfull of normal people remain and struggle to survive. One of the survivors is a man named Hunter (Martin Copping), who after the zombies killed his wife and daughter while he was out on a booze and drug binge, devoted whatever was left of his life to killing every single zombie he possibly could. With a badass car, a wicked knife and whatever weapons he can get his hands on, he crosses the wastelands killing zombies and looking for anyone else who may still be alive.
One day, he’s driving down the road and gets shot in the shoulder through his windshield. He’s then dragged to where a rag tag group of survivors is staying. They’re led by a tough as nails priest named Father Jesus (Danny Trejo), and they have a plan. One of their number can fly, and there’s an air base on the other side of a town named Dahmer, where, if they can get to it, they’ll board a plane and fly to a small island group off the coast of California where they’ll ride out the apocalypse in safety. Unfortunately, between them and the air base is a town called Dahmer, where, when the population ran out of food, they started cannibalizing the zombies and it turned them into a bunch of insane killers. Unfortunately, those insane killers now stand between them and the air base, and Hunter may just be their only hope.
Zombie Hunter is a new release from Well Go USA, and from the highly stylized screenshots on the back of the box, and my meerly average to less than great experiences with some of their non-Asian releases in the past (I’m talking about the films here, not the actual physical releases, which Well Go USA always does an awesome job with), I was fully prepared for a tedious, mind-numbing bore of a film. I’m happy to say however, I was completely wrong in that expectation. Stylized it is, in many ways, but this is actually a pretty cool zombie flick with lots of great action, lots of death, lots of pink zombie gore (pink because of the drug that turned them), a couple of crazy hot girls, an all around excellent cast, and a believable and realistic end goal that they’re trying to achieve.
What is anyone really going to bring to the zombie genre that’s new and exciting? At this point, there’s really not much to expect unless you get that rare gem from a film maker who is truly an innovator. This film isn’t really original in any way, shape or form, but the stylized look of it, the great cast and the nice practical effects and make-up do bring a lot to the party.
That said, there’s also some fairly ineffective CGI effects work done in this film. For example, when a head gets cut off, or when some of the super, monster zombies show up. Those super, monster zombies look like they just walked right out of a video game. Unfortunately, these things looked SO out of place with the practical make-up on the real zombies and the general look of the film as a whole that they…well, they felt cheap. I realize you can only do so much on a limited budget, but this film would have been much better served if they had just gotten a few bodybuilders to be the super zombies and put a little better make up on them. These CGI things weren’t scary at all because you just don’t feel like they’re really flesh and bone things there in the scene with the actors.
The flow of the film moved well, and there aren’t any parts that really drag or feel like they’re holding back the story. However, there are parts that could have been thought out better, like at the end when all the zombies show up out of nowhere at the air base. These zombies had a bad habit of appearing out of nowhere, and that was a problem, because these weren’t overly fast zombies or anything. It’s not like they waited for the living to be out of sight and then sprinted up to where they could be close for an attack. There’s a lot of points in this film where the zombies should have been easily noticed and either avoided or killed.
In any case, that’s not all that important. It is what it is, and what it is is a limited budget zombie flick that actually did a really good job of making the most out of the budget they had to work with. Hell, even Danny Trejo did a good job. Any good feelings I had for him were killed when I saw him in that worm infested pile of crap film, Machete. My god that was a bad film. His performance in this film however as the axe wielding, zombie killing priest may have just redeemed him in my eyes, at least to some degree. He did a great job and he played his character exactly as it needed to be played. You can’t really ask for more than that. I guess you can’t blame the actors for the roles they play and the films they play them in, so I shouldn’t be so hard on him for Machete. I still loathe the film and it’s definitely in my bottom 10 list, but still, that’s not his fault.
In the end, what we have here is a pretty decent quality, low to medium budget zombie flick that will provide you with a good 93 minutes of entertainment. It may not be original, but it is entertaining, and the quality of the cast is a huge part of the reason for that. They should all be commended for their performances.
There aren’t any special features on this release other than the trailer, but the quality of the release is excellent, as it always is with Well Go USA releases.
If you’d like to find out more about this release, you can check out its page on the Well Go USA website here, and if you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can get the DVD or blu-ray from Amazon, or from any of the other usual outlets.