We’re riding the double decker bus this week and throwing down a second fun horror movie review. I guess one review per week just isn’t gonna quench the horror thirst! This time we’re checking out Harrison Smith’s Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard (2015) release. The movie is essentially about a group of militia protecting their small surviving town from a horde of hungry-as-fuck zombies who are quickly approaching in record numbers. Regardless of the ratings and reviews I’ve seen and heard, I enjoyed the movie for what it was, no doubt. To boot, what a frickin’ BA cast. The film puts together such genre-rich names as Dee Wallace, Mischa Barton, and Felissa Rose (of Sleepaway Camp fame). Add to the pot Billy Zane, Michael Kean, and Gabrielle Stone to name just a few others, and you’ve got a really bang-up group of folks.
Onward to the nitty-gritty.
The film isn’t without its flaws, but let’s be honest, no film is. Some of the digital effects left a little to be desired, and the action didn’t quite live up to my expectations (the first kill scene set a tone, but the film tapered off from that afterwards). There were some lulls where I found myself having to work a little harder to pay attention, so that’s something to consider in the overall enjoyment-of-the-film department. That said, there were certainly many good things I was surprised to see come forth throughout the course of the film.
This IS a zombie movie, right? Well yes, we all know the industry is flooded with them, so already there is a challenge to create something unique and inviting. What I found to be a breath of fresh air was the fact that these survivors were PROactive as opposed to reactive. Matter of fact, you could argue calling them survivors to begin with in some sense. I can’t recall another film where people actually CHOSE to look death in the eye as opposed to running from it. This small group of armed soldiers took fate in their own hands and sought out to destroy the zombie army instead of just running around all mopey as shit and depressed, wondering if there was ever a way out (read “This isn’t like those pussies in The Walking Dead"). That said, I’d have also preferred to see the quick, maniacal, vicious zombies rather than the slow, dumb TWD variety. Generally speaking, zombies fit into only 1 of those 2 categories, and I think for my taste, AMC has ruined the slow, dumb zombie category. These zombies in ZKEG were persistent, not aggressive. Yes, there most certainly is a difference. Truthfully, I’m on the Dawn of the Dead remake side of the fence when it comes to my undead. Call me crazy.
I’m getting off topic.
Lastly, the thing I think I may have enjoyed most was the near absolute hopeless nature of the film. From the psychotic god-fearing group of brainwashed folks led by the uber creepy Lia (Felissa Rose), to the armed militia and the survivors, and even Dee Wallace’s character, not one group thought they’d survive. Even the group’s leader played by Billy Zane knew it. He knew it, he embraced it, and he used it to his advantage (no spoilers here, biscuits!).
Wouldn’t it be a heck of a thing to be in a situation where you know you’re going to die and instead of creating a false sense of hope you just say “Fuck it”, live the life you’re able to live, and die when you get the call? One could argue that it’s much like having a terminal illness I’d imagine. Either way, I have to respect the effort of creating a damn near “you will never escape from your fate” atmosphere with this film.
You can follow the goings on of the film via Twitter @ZOMBIEKILLERSEG and from there you can go stalk the cast and crew!
Like I said, the movie came with faults, but I was ok with them. I’m going with a solid 5 of 10 cleavers and yes, absolutely you should check this out given the opportunity. Golly gee, if only there were a free copy of the bluray up for grabs this weekend somewhere….