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When two brothers, Josh and Mike, go to a small southern town for a vacation, they find most of the residents either dead or missing. When Mike himself goes missing, Josh teams up with the local sheriff and an attractive school teacher to find him until Josh discovers that the whole town and most of its people have been infected by a form of toxic waste, and they have all turned into toxic vampires whom prowl the streets at night for human blood! Written by
If like me you think zombies should be seen and not heard (spouting silly one-liners) and prefer them plodding about exhibiting only the most primal, instinctive deadly behavior (not blabbing about what they are going to do) then this movie is for you.
Like the original Night of the Living Dead, this is a low budget indie which relies more on suspense and action than on grandiose special efx. The zombie make-up is excellent, however. It's creepy, and it's uniformly applied. No flesh-colored necks under pancaked faces here, or rubbery slop on their faces. This one was done with care.
The story starts slowly, but hang in. There is enough action to kick it off, but it takes a while to realize how good it'll get. Although there have been dozens of zombie flicks made over the years, less than a handful have succeeded at being suspenseful throughout. This one fits in there with the original Night of the Living Dead and Fulci's Zombie.
Wings Hauser is great, as is Jody Medford, in roles reminiscent of the original Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. Bo Hopkins and Lee Montgomery help round out a very likable and capable cast.
And yes, as a disgruntled viewer pointed out, there have been a glut of toxic spill zombie films. They began with Return of the Living Dead, which was released a year AFTER this one.
The only negative (and it's glaring) is the badly lit transfer to DVD. Sadly, the scenes affected most are the climactic ones. This one definitely deserves to be remastered. If that happens, I'll be first in line to buy another copy.
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