When Italian filmmakers Marco Ristori and Luca Boni made their first full length zombie feature "Eaters," they shopped for a big name to help promote it. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on how you look at it), their appeal was picked up by the infamous Uwe Boll. If you don't know who Boll is, he is widely cited as one of the worst directors cranking out movies today and his name is like catnip to lovers of bad movie mayhem. While he had nothing to do with "Eaters" aside from lending his name to the release, he takes a full producing credit on their follow-up "Zombie Massacre." Now, I was no big fan of "Eaters." But it had some moments of inspired lunacy and elicited a chuckle or two, so I ended up giving it a 2 star review. You'd think that with that experience under their belt, their next offering would be a noticeable improvement! Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Instead, "Zombie Massacre" must surely rank as one of the most uninspired and slowest monster movies of the year. Making zombies utterly tedious must be hard to accomplish, but the filmmakers were certainly up to the task with a complete lack of imagination or style.
For some inexplicable reason, "Zombie Massacre" was shot in English (Eaters was Italian, as I mentioned). Most of the cast, however, does not seem to employ English as a primary language. No big deal, really, except many are supposed to be American. In the depth of the Romanian countryside, there's an over-the-top Alabama tourist? Book me that vacation! Members of the CIA, military, and even the President himself struggle mightily and painfully to hide accents. I think this language barrier was one of the most devastating hindrances to the movie. When people spoke to one another, the cadence and rhythm was so slow and unnatural that it ground the movie to a halt. And there is a lot of talking in this picture! Way too much, really. After a promising first scene, it takes a full 30 minutes (of a 90 minute movie) to see another zombie. The screenplay is heavy on dialogue and exposition, but the film is not nearly complex enough to need so much set-up.
I really wish that "Zombie Massacre" fell into the "so bad, it's good" category. Unfortunately, it's so boring. After a mysterious outbreak in Romania, an elite team is sent in to nuke the city and its surrounding area. After setting the bomb, they have a short time to escape the blast zone. Sound exciting? They stop every two minutes to talk and talk and talk, never seeming to have much in the way of survival instinct. Even this might be fun if the zombies were of any interest. Poorly made up and badly executed, they aren't scary, dangerous, or even humorous. Some (but not all) even have on strange rubber suits, apparently turning into a zombie altered their basic biology. I don't even want to make it sound funny, it's not entertaining in any way. Of course, the zombie outbreak is tied to corrupt Americans and it's up to the heroes to spread the truth. But trust me, you won't care. I love bad movies, I have fun with bad movies. For me, "Zombie Massacre" ranks with the lowest of the low--not even smart enough to be dumb fun. KGHarris, 8/13.