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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Movie Review: Humans Versus Zombies

Director:Brian T. Jaynes
Writers: Brian T. Jaynes, Devan Sagliani
Stars: Dora Madison Burge, Melissa Carnell and Frederic Doss

Released: 2011

105 min
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

Dark Comedy and Horror unite in this satirical thriller based on the "Live Action Role-Playing" game of the same name. Students on summer break are exposed to a deadly virus that is spread rapidly through direct human contact. The infected become enslaved by the invading "swarm" intelligence and driven by an insatiable appetite to consume human flesh. Returning home, the students spread the infection to their fellow classmates and other unsuspecting townspeople. One by one, more students fall victim to the plague,triggering an epidemic that spawns a horde of ravenous zombies. The zombie horde grows and spreads quickly. Amidst the chaos, a campus security guard,obsessed with conspiracy theories, leads a group of students to safety as they and a small band of uninfected townspeople set out to find other human survivors in an attempt to discover the source of the "zombie" virus and save the world. Written by Jennifer Minar

Based onthe game Humans vs. Zombies (a popular attraction at many Sci-fi cons) thismovie takes the game to the next level. In fact the first “zombie attack” isn’teven real, it’s all part of the game. (The concept of this game becomes importantlater.) This movie is campy at times and truly gruesome and horrifying atothers and follows the typical “zombie” movie clichés; a group of youths findthemselves in the middle of the end of the world as they know it and they mustfind a way to survive while their friends and loved ones die around them.

The movie opens up on the beach where you see a man in a hazmat suit who is infected with the cleverly named “N1Z1” virus. From there things quickly spiral out of control. The group of teens spring to action, desperate to find answers and survive. They never expected their little role playing “game” to become reality.

When the government starts to send out warnings that there seems to be a virus going around causing the dead to reanimate no one seems to even pay attention to it. There is a calm among their peers and not even the main characters seem to really believe that zombies could be real (remember the Florida “zombie” attacks?)

Very quickly though the group of college students realize that there is more to these “stories” than they first thought. They run across some infected while driving to get their friends for a party. They try to come up with a logical explanation for the strange behaviors of an old man on the side of the road, which might have made sense if it wasn’t for the man’s instance on biting them.

The film takes a darker tone as they start to realize that these zombies were once humans, and the apocalypse isn’t fun like they all thought it would be. It’s scary and all very real. Laced with conspiracy theories surrounding the military’s efforts to “clean up” the oil spill in the ocean the film has a shocking conclusion. The “wolf in sheep’s skin” as one might call it.

The makeup effects are not just ketchup packets and corn syrup; it’s very gory and realistic (as any good movie should be). While some zombie films use cheap makeup and far too little fake blood, Humans vs. Zombies redeems its kind from such amateurish counterparts. The blood splatter and gore seems realistic for the kills and isn’t just dumped on top of lifeless actors. Paired with the lighting the deep red blood looks just as it should; like blood.

The movie takes a stab at pop culture, often taking on the latest movies, books, and clichés (points for pointing out that REAL vampires don’t sparkle). The “nerd” of the group even follows the Zombie Survival Guide to the letter. It’s here that the movie gets it’s “campiness”, like in many parodies of films it’s rags on all the popular hits of the year.

Over all this under rated horror flick was better than Iexpected. While it sometimes plays out certain scenes a little too long it’sstill very engaging and keeps you guessing till the very end. Unlike manyzombie movies which only start after most the population has already fallenvictim to the virus this one takes you from start of the outbreak to the veryend. Its plot is well developed and there’s a prevalent underlying message thatsets Humans vs. Zombies apart from its campy brethren.

4 1/2 Sheep

Guest reviewer: Ren Stogner


  1. It would be so fun to be a zombie in a movie. Not for real of course but FUN none the less! Now I'm off to look for some brains! Or bacon, I do love me some bacon. ;)

  2. Really enjoyed the review - thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing this movie now. :)

  3. Funny enough, I can handle zombie books better than the movies, but I think I will have to check this one out. You convinced me. So, if I have nightmares I'll blaming you. ;)

    1. I am like you. I can't watch slasher type movies, but love reading about them. I couldn't stomach Dexter My daughter is a big slasher movie fan so if she liked this then it was probably good..

  4. Great review and looks like a movie I need to see! :D