In three different time periods and three distinct cinematic styles, Exhumed tells the story of the corrupting otherworldly power to raise the dead as it falls into the hands of individuals across the world. The first, in feudal Japan, has a samurai and monk battling the living dead in the Forest of Death. The second, a film noir thriller, has a young detective woman investigating mysterious grave-robbings in 1940's America. The third, set in a post-apocalyptic future, has battling gangs of vampire mods and rockabilly werewolves captured and experimented on by a fanatical madman. All three stories tie together with a common plot thread of time travel and the object from which the power of resurrection is derived. Written by
Brian Clement <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When somebody attaches the word "epic" to an independent, low-budget film it generally invokes some suspicion. But the truth is, "Exhumed" is indeed pretty epic. It's a great idea, and for the most part it's fairly well executed.
The story begins in feudal Japan, when a samurai warrior encounters a monk in the woods, and they soon find that they're both after the same thing -- an artifact which is rumoured to have the power to raise the dead. The warrior wants to claim it and take it back to his leader, while the monk says it must be destroyed. Pretty soon, they're attacked by zombies and find they must team up with each other in order to ensure their survival. Then suddenly, whoosh, we're in 1940's America, in a story about a female detective who is hired by a man to track his ex-wife. This leads her down a trail of mystery which has something to do with the recent graverobbing occurrences in the city, and a mysterious ancient artifact of great power ... and then, for the final chapter, we are whisked forward into a post-apocalyptic future where rival gangs of vampire mods and werewolf rockers do battle in ruined cities. Two of them are captured by some military fellows and taken to a base for an experiment involving that same artifact.
These three stories are linked together by more than just the single artifact. There's an aspect of time travel, and also there's a brief mention of an insane general in the future using a map drawn by the insane monk in the first story. It's all tied together fairly well, and for the most part the script is fairly well-written. The special effects are quite innovative, though obviously not that convincing given the budget. There's lots of heads being smashed against walls, zombies torn apart by chainsaws or samurai swords, and just a whole bunch of general carnage. You at least get the impression that they had a lot of fun making it.
It's really a mixed bag because of the three distinct styles of film-making. The samurai story was probably my favourite -- the film-making, the acting and the script are all very good and it's a great opening to the movie. The film noir segment has a pretty good script, but some of the acting is a little dodgy and the directing wasn't nearly as good -- there's often too much plain dialogue and not enough happening on screen, and the editing needed to be tighter in places. In the final post apocalyptic story, the film-making is competent and the acting is generally okay, but all of a sudden there's a lot of unnecessary nudity thrown in, which lowers the tone of the movie somewhat.
This is really only a movie for fans of independent movies or the zombie genre. It's a good effort from director Brian Clement, but it seems he needs more experience before he can have a serious career in movies.
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