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After killing four persons in his home with a shotgun, Dee Travis claims that he had accidentally ingested an experimental biotoxin that the company Blackthorn where he worked was researching. Travis is sent visibly ill to the Harwood Maximum Security Prison and the Security Officer Sweeny sends the inmate to the infirmary. Meanwhile the CDC Agent Samantha Beckett comes to the prison to interview Travis and is received by Warden Mahler. While they are having a conversation, they are informed that Travis has been transferred to the solitary confinement and his infected blood has caused an outbreak among the prisoners and guards. Samantha calls the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the responsible advises the warden that the prison is in quarantine. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ever since the release of the highly overrated '28 Days Later', there's been a steady stream of low budget zombie movies being released; and I've been disappointed with most of them. The reason for this, mostly, is that the vast majority have too much humour about them, and although it is difficult to take a movie about the dead returning to life and feasting on the living seriously; things such as dancing zombies are, quite frankly, lame. It was a relief, then, that this film takes itself seriously; and the result is a gory, and loving tribute to the classic zombie films made by genre-icon George A. Romero. It's Day of the Dead that is this film's main focus, but tributes to the other films in the series shine through; as well as a few nods to other genre classics. The plot follows a zombie outbreak, which ends up in a prison after the sole survivor is arresting while trying to dispatch his friends who ended up catching the virus. The prison is maximum security, and this proves a big problem for the guards who become the hunted after their prisoners succumb to the deadly virus.
Before seeing this film, I thought that the prison setting may hinder the movie; but actually, it's definitely an advantage. The closed setting allow the film to present a constantly foreboding atmosphere, as we know that the characters are trapped with the living dead; and it also means that the movie doesn't spoil itself by trying to be too clever. Gore is present by the bucket load, which is sure to please zombie fans; but the action itself is a bit of a turn off as it happens mostly in slow motion. The first half of the film sees the plot build, and while it's not exactly deep; Dead Men Walking sets itself up nicely, and in true Day of the Dead style; the climax is full on action and gore. There's a little too much intestine ripping (I didn't hear the words "Choke on 'em!", though), but mostly the gut-munching is pleasing to the eye. Dead Men Walking looks and feels like it's been made for TV, which is a bit of a shame as either better production values, or a more low budget style would have served it better - but on the whole, I'd definitely take this film over most of the recent zombie flicks without a second thought.
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