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First of all, I must say that when I sat down to watch "Armageddon of the Dead" (or "Risen") it was with some heavy influence from all the negative reviews it had gotten both here and on Amazon (where I bought the movie from). Then why watch it you might ask? Well because it is a zombie movie, and I am a huge zombie aficionado, and just got to watch all things zombie.
Sure "Armageddon of the Dead" is a low budget zombie horror movie, but so what? There are so many other low budget zombie movies out there on the market, and lots of them are far worse than this movie. I honestly think that "Armageddon of the Dead" was one of the better low budget zombie movies that I have seen in my many years of watching movies.
Given the DVD cover has nothing to do with the movie itself, and that does raise the question why opt for that cover for the movie? It depicts a man and a woman with guns standing in front of a massive horde of zombies and a city in ruin in the background. It was pretty far from the actual contents of the movie.
The story takes place in a suburb where we follow a small group of people, whose life is turned upside down with the spread of some infection that causes the dead to rise and attack the living. Yeah, fairly standard over-used storyline here, I agree, but it still worked out well enough. Especially because "Armageddon of the Dead" is not about the gore and showing off gruesome effects and mauled people, it is about the storyline and the trials of the small group. The story builds up a good sense of suspense and dread, and doesn't delve into the gorefest mayhem that most zombie movies do (and yeah, I do love that, no doubt about it), but it was nice to see a zombie movie that was story-driven and not gore-driven.
And the people they had cast for the various roles, well most of them did adequate jobs with their characters and their roles. Sure, keep in mind that this is a low budget movie, so don't expect award-winning material, and yeah there were some questionable acting performances here and there, but in overall, I think people were actually doing good jobs, and it helped carry the movie quite a bit.
"Armageddon of the Dead" is not heavy on gore and mayhem. There is a heap of people with blood on them and showing smaller lacerations and injuries, and it was done well enough, especially because it wasn't the gore that drove the movie. And keep in mind that people were recently dead and recently reanimated, so it would be very limited with the sense of decay and rot that there would be present. I found the blood and injuries were adequate enough and done well enough, because it was done with moderation.
For a low budget movie, there is something unique about "Armageddon of the Dead" and it made it stand out in an otherwise overwhelming flood of low budget, and often quite bad, zombie movies. If you like zombie movies and don't mind it not being a multi-million dollar production, then you definitely should check out "Armageddon of the Dead".
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