Watch it, and wait for the sequels.
Plaga zombie (1997 Video)
User ReviewsReview this title
And, of course, lots of blood!
It's obvious that the filmmakers valued their special effects very highly, and indeed the second half of the film is basically just an excuse to show plenty of splatter. The effects themselves are not particularly convincing; but they are very impressive considering what the filmmakers had to work with. There are plenty of them too and the blood flows freely and often, which is nice. The first half of the movie is slightly more character and story based and the build up is actually quite good as the characters are established. It has to be said that the film goes downhill once we get towards the ending because then it's basically just a Braindead-style bloodbath. The film takes a humorous approach to the zombies, which was previously seen in films like Video Dead and (again) Braindead and to be honest I find that a bit of a turn off; but with a film with such a low budget as this, you can't really blame them for adding comedic elements. The ending is fairly decent and while this is not exactly classic horror; it's decent for an hour's entertainment and should appeal to zombie fans.
If I'm not mistaken, it's also the first Argentinian zombie film. Bound to become a cult classic.
Considering its resources, this one turned out rather fun and enjoyable. One of the few positives to like here is the rather enjoyable and frantic pacing throughout here that basically charges this one along incredibly well. There's little time to waste here before the abduction encounter and the friends slowly undergoing their metamorphosis in their apartment, leading to the great scenes of the creatures running loose in the streets of the small town with the ever-increasing horde coming after them. There's some more fun to be had from their encounters throughout the house which make this one feel really fun with the initial brawling as well as the encounters in the basement or out in the hallways and corridors of the complex which makes for a truly fun low-budget style good time here with the film employing non-stop encounters with the creatures to give this the sort of frantic, frenzied encounters that take place throughout here which give it that fast-paced feel. That kicks in even more when it gets to their counter-attacks clearing the way against the zombies, which goes for the cheesy wrestling matches and comedic brawls that occur in the lobby of their apartment or outside in the streets which manage to continue on throughout this one so well that there's almost nothing to keep this one from slowing down and focusing on their battles with the creatures that are quite fun in here, giving this one the kind of crazy, over-the-top gore gags against the zombies that never belie their low-budget origins in execution even though the concept here is exceptionally fun and gruesome at times. These here really hold this one up even though there are some pretty noticeable flaws to be found here. As is most obvious about this one, that comes from it's incredibly low-budget nature which is quite small and really shows it's nature here with the exceptionally cheesy make-up and gore effects as well as the overall execution of the film's technical areas which are just so obviously minuscule that it becomes a source of the film to really get a handle on for this one. Everything looks home-made and cheap without going for any kind of realism, which makes for a somewhat troubling watch if looked at in terms of actual execution of what's going on, and while not a bad thing is something to contend with. Likewise, the film also manages to really undermine itself where it really doesn't seem too concerned with internal logic, having zombies go from mindless shuffling hordes that fail to understand things such as locked doors or stairs yet are seconds later able to engage in planned wrestling matches or continually pop up into the frame for a mugged goof shot that looks way too planned rather than anything else, resulting in a somewhat jarring tone that comes more from the amateurish production than anything else here. Otherwise, there's not a whole lot else to this one.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence.
The film opens with evil aliens abducting a young man and infecting him with a zombie virus before returning him to Earth. As the plague spreads, wrestler John West (Berta Muñiz), medical student Bill Johnson (Pablo Parés) and mathematician Max Giggs (Hernán Sáez) are forced to take up arms against the living dead.
Considering the almost non-existent budget of approximately $120, I guess that all involved should be commended for actually delivering anything remotely resembling a coherent film, but the fact remains that, despite some bold direction and a few creative effects, the overall movie simply isn't that great. The 2001 sequel, Plaga zombie: Zona mutante would take the same splatstick approach, but would show improvements in most departments, making it a far more enjoyable watch.
Wow. This is truly of the 'shot-on-video no-budget backyard zombie genre' (plus aliens). This feels like a home movie shot with friends who can't act and that's pretty much what it is. It's still better than "Dead Life", but then again what isn't? It wants to be something like Peter Jackson's "Braindead" (aka Dead Alive) with its gross out fluids and even a lawnmower joke, but the difference is that Peter Jackson had a well-made film with: a funny script, some evidence of a minor budget, people who could act, a crew who had an idea of how to make a film and something resembling a coherent narrative and story that kept your interest. This really has none of those ingredients. The guys behind Plaga Zombie may be fans of Jackson, Rodriguez and Raimi (three cultishly popular directors who've made horror films on small budgets), but in this film they didn't really exhibit a fraction of the talent or ingenuity of those directors. Their sequel was much better and hopefully in time they will improve and provide us fans with something worth watching more than once. I know this was made with no budget, but a good script doesn't take money, just creativity and an ability to write dialogue. This film is lacking a good script. Go watch Rodriguez's short film "Bedhead" to see what can be done with very little resources and a bit of ingenuity.
I tried watching Plaga Zombie once before and gave up halfway through and put my DVD back on the shelf with my other zombie movies. Months later I finally gave the sequel a chance and found it had some merits and decided to try watching this first film again to see where it started. Immature humor can be done well by filmmakers who can write a script well and get the right cast and crew behind them. The excessive amount of childish humor here might seem like really clever stuff if you're in the 7th grade and haven't bothered to discover better low budget films yet, otherwise you'll probably be disappointed. Plaga Zombie only looks a little better than those cheesy home movie short films M. Night Shyamalan made as a kid and sometimes puts on his dvds to show his humble origins.
STORY: Dr. Bill is a med school dropout; I suspect this is not because of the accident they mention, but because of his complete ineptitude to diagnose a patient. His roommate wakes up with his back covered in what appears to be a whole case of used bubblegum affixed to his back (remember never to fall asleep chewing gum!). Bill's buddy, an out of work wrestler, runs into the room asking him to help his former manager. It appears both have the same set of symptoms, which our genius would be doctor surmises is some disease that infects the body and then the mind. Brilliant work, doc! They eventually realize aliens have infected their friends and neighbors and there is some sort of zombie epidemic which they must try to survive.
DE-ANIMATION METHODS: Dr. Bill concocts an acid solution to be administered via syringe to the infected to kill the 'host organism' thereby producing a large volume of foam and fluids from the body of the zombie. Cue cheesy gross out effects.
MAKE-UP EFFECTS: various colors of face paint, some latex and lots of colorful fluids and what looks like cornflake/oatmeal and food coloring type effects. Ultra low-budget.
The story, what little there was of it, couldn't keep my attention. I can't really recommend you spend 68 minutes of your life watching this unless you want to learn from its mistakes for your own backyard movie. Go straight to sequel, do not pass go and do not spend any $$$ (luckily there's a US DVD that included this film as an extra to the sequel, because this isn't worth spending your money on). Better yet, go watch "Braindead" (aka Dead Alive).
The Greatest Argentinian film to this day!