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Day X (2005)
Day X starts off fast with a single individual becoming enraged and killing a coworker without any explanation as to why. Soon afterwords a group of people in a parking garage become infected and attack our main character Frank Chambers. These attackers have not died and come back to life but it is explained later that an airborne virus scrambles the brain and affects the blood making those infected with it hunger for the flesh of the living.
The locations used in Day X are very cool. You'll see a lot of run down industrial warehouse interiors and exteriors, and only a few lush garden like settings. I'm guessing they didn't have to build a set for this film at all. There are some locations used that could have been explored more but that may have taken away from the fast paced storyline. I don't like to give away the whole movie in written format but the story doesn't drag at any point in the movie, it does however end rather abruptly. Maybe that was the filmmakers intent to get a sequel in the works. The make up effects are good, some of the infected have a very nasty gory look while others have a quick dirty chimney sweep look.
The CG is not pretty but it's very lightly used and not on screen long. Sound effects are a little fake towards the beginning of Day X but later on with shot guns and other louder guns they sound effects are perfect. Some of the actors are re-dubbed, not due to language differences but most likely due to on set audio issues. The dialog feels a little forced from some of the actors while others simply had too much foul language written for their character. The camera work is really professional for an indie film. The making of feature shows some of the lengths the camera men went took to get some really cool shots. Over all I enjoyed watching this mix of horror with sci-fi. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoyed Dead and Deader, 28 Days/Weeks Later or Undead.
Special Dead (2006)
Thinking about picking up Special Dead? DO IT!
Special Dead takes place at Camp Special Dude, a ranch for the mentally handicapped. When a few new campers arrive at Special Dude, so do the undead! The campers and counselors have to fight to stop the outbreak and stay alive. As it says on Special Dead's IMDb plot summary: "It's a campy stampede of blood, boobs and gore as some "very special" people show that they can kick some serious undead ass." With that said let me get to reviewing this Zomedy! There is a really sharp picture during all of the daytime shots in the movie. Yet nights falls fairly early on in the film and most of the story takes place during the night. The picture is a bit grainy in the darker/night time scenes but that just helps to set a creepy atmosphere. After a second viewing of Special Dead at a friends house on a huge HDTV I can say that the quality of the picture really stands out.
The make up effects for the gore and undead was pretty damn good, it's just gross enough for you to want to attack these zombies with a bar of soap and a hose. A few of the zombies reminded me of the look of Fulci's zombies in Zombi 2, Dirty and nasty looking! The gore mixed with the humor very well. One nasty scene has a camp member joking about how stupid zombies are because he got bit by one, he then shows off his arm with an open gash and bubbling green blood inside, AWESOME. Another gore filled scene had me wondering why has quick set glue poured into a zombie's mouth never been used in a living dead story before? It seems like a logical way to stop a zombie from being able to bite you.
The sounds effects were spot on, A zombie gurgling with a mouth full of blood while it's face is getting smashed in, One of the counselors getting his face beaten against a tree while urinating, nasty flesh munching, and plenty of slashing, chain saws and loud gunfire all sounded awesome. The soundtrack was just alright. A few rap songs felt out of place but then again I'm not a huge fan of hip hop. All the other music styles worked great with what was going on during the film. The metal tracks really pick up the pace and give energy to the zombie ass kicking that going on. If there was a soundtrack available I'd would recommend picking it up for the Andy Allen songs, his character dies off kinda early in the story which is ashame since he's a great guitar player and has some really funny songs.
All of the characters are unique and the acting felt genuine from everyone. The actors playing the "special" kids at camp Special Dude don't come off as wanting to make fun of the mentally disabled, their characters just have fun making fun of each other. Random comments and jokes from the "special" kids are hilarious! "Pancake sized nipples" came out of no where and had me rolling on the floor. Is it wrong to laugh at how a mentally challenged person might normally act? Everything in Special Dead was pretty faithful to zombie-lore except one scene where the leader, Mac, has the ability to stop the attack of a female zombie by simple giving her a kiss. That one threw me off a little but besides that I recommend this DVD to everyone that loves Shaun of the Dead, Fulci's Zombi 2, Dawn of the Dead, and The Ringer. Long live the Zomedy!