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this movie is great. i briefly recall seeing the poster for it a while
back but i'd since forgotten about it up until the other day when i
took a gamble on watching it and was happy within the first 10 minutes
after seeing the style and effects.
like another reviewer stated, the movie is shot on 35mm film, not on digital like modern Hollywood flicks. this gives it a very classic look and feel, reminiscent of the George a Romero film like dawn of the dead in '78 and day in '80.
the zombie effects and makeup as far as i could tell used no CGI whatsoever and the gore, though not too frequent, looks great when it's on screen.
the undead are also nearly always on screen, and combined with their excellent makeup, great camera work and complete lack of unnecessary music, have a very menacing feel as they creep up on the films 2 protagonists.
the films setting is beautiful and a fantastic change from the norm's of busy city streets and urban environments. it is shot in west African locations such as Burkina Faso and Ghana, as well as the Sahara desert. it really is a breath of fresh air in the zombie movie genre.
the story is fairly simple. an American military engineer washes up on the coast of west Africa after his evacuation flight crashes. as the sole survivor he attempts to reach a northern military air field to re-attempt his escape, and runs into a soldier of the African military who is trying to find his son during the chaos.
overall i give this movie an 8 out of 10. and that's only because i wasn't keen on the acting by the American protagonist played by Robert freeman, and a couple small sections of the movie are quite slow.
the film does leave itself open for the possibility of a sequel and i would be more than happy to watch it if it mirrors the quality of this.
The Dead. Its not the most creative of titles, reading it you pretty much know it's either going to be a James Joyce adaptation or a film about zombies. This time it's the latter and the stripped down title actually works, since this is pretty much a stripped down zombie film. Moving away from fast zombies, crowd pleasing style and "fun" gore gags, The Dead is bleak, numbing and even repetitive, an approach I actually enjoyed as it seems to get far closer than many films to the real horror of such events. It stuns with visuals and draws the heart with an inspired central heroic partnership, but by and large is many leagues away from the shallow silliness of all too many popular zombie films these days. Following at first the journey of Lt. Brian Murphy, wanting nothing more than to return home from a zombie outbreak stricken Africa, then Murphy and Sgt. Daniel Dembele, the latter trying to find his son, this is a quest film as much as horror, the journey as important as the grue. A first time feature for writers/directors/brothers Howard and Jonathon Ford (the latter also co handled cinematography with Jon Ford), The Dead moves at a dignified, steady paced, sporadically shot through with brief but intense bursts of tense violence heavy on head shots, laced with a growing respect and friendship between the two heroes and occasionally touched with poignancy shining in the gloom of the situation and ardour of the trek. Its skilfully handled, laconic stuff with a documentarians eye for the location (I never knew Burkina Faso was such a beautiful place), characters suitably rounded and likable and a powerful finale, overall it's a film with a punch. Rob Freeman as Lt Murphy plays things like a tough guy character actor of yore, impassive and resourceful determination with a human edge, while Prince David Oseia does equally well as Sgt. Dembele, carrying himself with authority and intelligence. As with any such film, the zombies are a major part of the experience, and The Dead succeeds nicely here. Make up effects are handled by Max Van De Banks and the zombies are simply portrayed, dead eyed, pallid, dirty and some bloodied, they move at a refreshing ominous creep as well, taking after the terrors of Romero pictures rather than any cheese of recent years. Gore is decent too, a realistic approach is taken over setting up lots of fun gimmicky kills, the headshots can get repetitive but there are a few other methods on display, a couple of which are real grisly crowd pleasers. By and large I had a fine time with this one and I hardly even expected too, having gone to watch it on a whim. The film does lag in the middle, stuttering a bit even in its already measured pacing, but it doesn't take too long to return to its groove. More irksomely, there are one or two undeveloped scenes which are too rapidly glossed over, as if time or the budget ran too short, there are some editing blips as well, though this may well have been intentional it still comes across a bit of a niggle. Still one of the best zombie films I've seen in a while though, well recommended.
This is the best zombie movie I've seen in a long time. The film is dead serious (no pun intended), there are no attempts at humor (voluntary or otherwise) whatsoever. That alone sets it apart from about 90% of all recent zombie films. The 2 protagonists (the American looks a bit like Billy Bob Thornton at times) do a fine job delivering their (few) lines). The whole movie is rather bleak, and even though you see a lot of zombies and victims it is not overly gory. The effects are very good and there is no crappy CGI blood (or if there is any I didn't notice it). There are many zombies missing limbs (arms and legs) and I had read a while back that they even used real amputees, which is a nice touch. The other thing that sets it apart from all other zombie films is the setting. All of the movie takes place in the African savanna (from what I saw in the credits it was shot in Ghana and Burkina Faso), which leads to some gorgeous vistas while the characters try to reach their destination. And finally, it was shot on film, not on video or digital video, which I hate even more than CGI blood.
If your regular zombie movie is coca-cola, this is french Champagne. Being from Africa myself, I could come across as somewhat biased. Do not expect your regular advancing hordes or big titted blonds. It was well filmed, awesomely cast, contained enough gore/horror to satisfy most, and although it was considerably slow moving, it was captivating the whole way through. For an apparent new director/producer, this was a phenomenal first attempt. Perhaps I am wrong here as I don't recall where I read this information but nonetheless, this was one of those rare occasions where a film with a B-Grade budget pulled of something amazing. I will repeat that I am a huge fan of this genre and extremely proud to be African, but those facts aside, this was a UK made movie and one I would recommend to anyone with a taste for horror and gore as well as sentiment and a great and moving story on its own.
This is a zombie movie in Africa which contains old school, slow
walking zombies. The lead characters are people with families who are
just trying to get home or find their loved ones. They are not trying
to solve the mystery of the outbreak, which makes it a simple, but very
entertaining piece of film.
There is a huge difference in picture quality; Sometimes you are looking at dark images with too much artificial grain, at other times you are seeing beautiful African scenery with some nifty shots. Meanwhile, the undead are never far away. This resulted in the best feature of the whole movie; you never felt safe EVER. The threat of slow zombies always shambling towards the main characters gave me that freaky feeling only Romero delivered. It worked.
This movie doesn't really excel at anything, but it is still very enjoyable. It has some minor continuity flaws (like cleaning a blood smeared face with just a dry cloth) but it doesn't get in the way. It doesn't deliver perfect acting, but it isn't terrible to watch either. It lacks a film score but there's still enough tension without it. Even with these minor flaws, I feel The Dead was a welcome change in the zombie genre and I would recommend it to any zombie fan.
I am always skeptical when I see movies that I've never heard of. The actors, Director etc. But I have to say that this film was very well done.The Howard Bros did an excellent job. Directed beautifully for a low really low budget film. Special effects were surprisingly quite good. Much better than some higher budget films.It has its share of problems but is easily overlooked. I highly recommend this for any zombie fan. It stays true to the classic zombie flick but gives you a bit of a new perspective. I hope to see more Howard Bros films on a higher budget cause they deserve it after this one. This is just to fill on for the retarded 10 line requirement. No offense IMDb but it is kinds stupid.
The dead are returning to life and attacking the living. After
surviving a plane crash American Air Force Engineer Lieutenant Brian
Murphy teams up with a local army Sgt. Daniel Dembele and they try to
stay alive in dead infested war-torn Africa.
It's well filmed with the competent naturalistic visual style reminiscent of Monsters, less is also more in The Dead's case. Imran Ahmad's music score complements the on screen deeds and while not particularly memorable it is subtle and effective enough.
The African setting is a welcomed change, the on location shoot gives it an eerie real feel. The costume design appears authentic. Dan Rickard's special effects and Max Van De Banks' makeup are first rate, bones sticking out of legs, wounds, bites and the dead getting hit and shot at are executed perfectly. The traditional shambling sluggish dead are creepy enough and retain an air of menace.
The zombie/virus market has been saturated with countless sub-par films. There have been a few welcomed additions arguably - the Dawn of the Dead remake, cross genre Australian film Undead, 28 Days virus flicks, comedies including Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland and actioner Le Horde, Eaters, Mutant to name a few. I personally I like sober zombie films and The Dead is probably the most grounded undead film since Romero's original trilogy. Director and writer team Howard and Jonathan Ford manage to give their zombie offering scope, emotion and anxiety that arguably lacked in Land and Survival of the Dead respectively.
Due to the constraints of the story there's little dialogue. That said, what there is rings true and the characters are given time to develop. The acting all round is of a high standard, with fitting performances from both leads Rob Freeman and Prince David Oseia.
My only grumble is that there's been so many zombie films lately it mars the freshness that The Dead delivers. Intentional or unintentional as with Romero's films there is indeed a social commentary running though The Dead and the African setting is debatably no accident. The Dead may lack comradely wordplay but it doesn't try to reinvent the wheel.
Overall, The Dead gives the viewer a much needed solid piece of realistic zombie entertainment. Recommend.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie begins good, and is solid throughout. Even though they are
"slow" zombies, their sheer numbers and constant threat+ low ammo, gas,
fatigue makes a lot of suspense here.
The zombies are authentic and scary, and ever present. People in this movie don't do dumb things. For example, people actually stop and grab ammo and needed items off the dead. They don't trip and fall and suddenly get pounced on and eaten.
This is a mature zombie flick, and a nice break from the zombie comedy. I really enjoyed it personally.
Others may find it a bit slow if they want meaningless carnage, but rest assured there is a payoff. 8/10 based on zombie movies for sure.
this movie i a breath of fresh air for the zombie genre. its very realistic and compassionate toward the characters. be sides the first two night of the living dead's, dawn of the dead, and day of the dead (and of course a few Italian films), the other "...of the dead" movies are laughable and illogical. you could tell that the writers, producers and director cared about this film and its characters. in America, we can get named and no named actors and put it on the big screen make 100 million dollars off crap. its actually sad. foreign movies are done with more care and respect. i would love to see a Hollywood movie done to this standard. this i definitely a must see in the zombie genre!!! i hope to see more like it!!
Or "Zombies - The road movie". And having seen it at a Festival where
the director was tipping his hat off to Romero and acknowledging what
the grand master has done and the influences he draw from those movies,
made this one a clear winner for me. So maybe I have given it an extra
point because of that, I wouldn't really know to tell you that for sure
(though it is very likely).
The movie itself is very slow moving (like the zombies themselves thankfully) and therefor there is not a fast paced action kind of scare. Or a scare that comes suddenly that you might not have expected. But it builds on the mood and the tension. It's the overall feeling that counts and the movie does a really good job with it. The actors are decent enough (though some parts might have benefited by a more experienced actor) and if you like Romero's zombie movies, you might wanna give this a try too.
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