In 1590, Coronado dispatched a division of one thousand men to find the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. Those men never returned. While searching Baja peninsula caves as part of an ...
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In 1590, Coronado dispatched a division of one thousand men to find the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. Those men never returned. While searching Baja peninsula caves as part of an archeological expedition, a university professor and his students unwittingly unleash a long dormant curse.Written by
A group of archaeological students travel to the Mexican desert for a weekend of dirt racing in honour of their friend John Barnes' birthday. But the professor has an ulterior motive – along with some mercenaries, he plans to locate & loot a massive treasure of gold that was left by the Anasazi, an ancient people who lived in the area. But once he finally finds the treasure, he accidentally releases the treasure's guardians – an army of undead skeletons led by a feared conquistador who wanted to steal the treasure but died in the process. As the skeletons attack the students' camp, Barnes & his friends must find a way to defeat the hundreds of killer skeletons that are assaulting them.
The killer skeleton film is a rare subgenre in the horror field. The most notable ones to use them were in a supplementary fashion – the old 1950s stop-motion fantasy films like Jason & the Argonauts had some awesome stop-motion skeleton warriors & more recently the Sam Raimi Evil Dead sequel ARMY OF DARKNESS, which was technically not really a horror film but had some brilliantly funny moments & a great battle scene with knights up against an army of skeletons. Since then, the idea of killer skeletons has been mostly dismissed until now.
Army of the Dead is a 2007 attempt to give the idea a whole feature airing. Of course, stop-motion is so passé so the producers used cheap CGI to animate a whole army of skeletons, which looks pretty good until you realise that the skeletons are just one model being cut-&-pasted several times to resemble a whole army. The scenes where the skeletons directly interact with the humans are shoddy & the CGI blood & explosions used are even poorer CGI creations.
The story is a riff on the recent Pirates of the Caribbean films, most notably the first one – an ancient but cursed treasure with an army of undead guardians protecting it for eternity – but with that source franchise making a lot of money to the point that at time of writing this, a fifth instalment is being produced, this film's novelty value will be eroded significantly. The characters are reasonably well drawn – an advantage over some of the other horror films coming out of the independent sector as of late – and the acting is also quite good, but the film fails to generate much in the way of suspense & the skeleton attacks are quite hokey.
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