REDCON-1 *** UK 2018 Dir: Chee Keong Cheung 115 mins
In an attempt to create a super warrior the British Army experiment on prison inmates in London. Unfortunately they succeed in creating a virus that kills the patient and causes them to reanimate as a rage fuelled, blood thirsty, violent zombie. An infected inmate escapes and pretty soon the virus is spreading to epic proportions and the entire South East is shutting down. A quarantine area is set up to try to contain the outbreak before it spreads.
According to officials the creator of the vaccine Dr. Raynes is out there in the quarantine zone, unknown if he is dead or alive. A squad of U.S and British soldiers are sent in to find Raynes and if alive bring him back in the hope he can create an antidote. Having to fight their way through hordes of zombies they only have 8 hours to retrieve Raynes before the entire area is nuked. This is a very ambitious attempt for a low budget British zombie movie to create something big enough in scale and effect to compete with its larger budget, more mainstream competitors and Redcon-1 certainly gives it it’s all, throwing every big budget zombie cliche and plot line it possibly can at it. With a runtime of almost 2 hours you can be excused for thinking that it might drag on a bit but fear not though as this does not at all. Despite it’s cliches I still believe that there is a lot to like about this movie . Given that they have aimed for a wider audience they have not held back on the good bits. There is plenty of gore, entrails and some shocking visuals for us gorehounds with the other FX also looking great plus the make up used to identify different groups of survivors sets them all apart nicely. The zombies themselves are fantastic, if a little confused . They are the fast, rage type…. possibly a bit too much for my liking. They are a lot more fighty then bitey but they look and sound great. There are some fabulous swarming scenes and after they’ve eventually beaten the living shit out of you (call it tenderizing if you will) they will then eat you. They aren’t completely mindless either and still retain glimmers of their former lives. It tries to be as mainstream as it possibly can by incorporating huge action scenes but they do go on just that little bit too long and not all of them are particularly well executed or choreographed. It also delves into big story lines of sacrifice, love, deceit and betrayal but somehow it all seems a bit too much to take in at once. I think it would have been better to break it down a bit and focus on one or two of these avenues then try to run down them all in one go as sometimes it comes across as trying way too hard but it does go someway to explaining why this movie is almost 2 hours long. The cast are largely unknown to me but I thought they all did an ok job. They are prone to bouts of extreme over acting at times and there is an incredibly annoying young girl who really is very irritating but I am very easily irritated by child actors so that may just be me. The soundtrack is very effective with some cool Metal tracks but is ridiculously overbearing a lot of the time plus their choice of using 90’s Indie band Space’ “The Female Of The Species” as the end title track struck me as bizarre. It basically has every conceivable Army Dudes VS Zombies cliche you can think of in one action packed, slightly cringey, gore fest that despite it’s flaws I enjoyed very much and I will be adding it to my collection.
Review by Sarah Budd