THE ZOMBINATOR (a.k.a. Dead Z) * USA 2012 Dir: Sergio Myers. 83 mins
A fashion blogger and college student in Youngstown, Ohio hires a documentary team to follow her about as she talks about life in their town. Taking the team to visit a prolific murder site they think they see something lurking around by an underpass. Finding fresh blood there they essentially laugh it off and head back. Attending the wake of a friend, a soldier who died in action, the group of friends and the crew come face to face with a horde of zombies when leaving. As mass panic hits the town the group flee and run into a tall, dark stranger in a trench coat who bundles them into a truck and takes them to an abandoned warehouse. A former soldier himself The Zombinator (Joseph Aviel) has turned zombie killer and vowed to save the friends of the fallen soldier (the one who’s wake they went to) as a way of getting back at The Colonel (Patrick Kilpatrick) who is responsible for the zombie pandemic.
This found footage shocker is the reason zombie movies get a bad reputation. None of it makes any sense so I think they thought they would just bung in a bunch of zombies at random intervals and hope for the best. Small bit of trivia for you that I found on IMDB, apparently this was shot in four and half days and without a script… now I don’t know if this is actually true or just a statement trying to justify its awfulness but it certainly shows. The shaky cam is on overdrive, the sound is crackly and the soundtrack comes and goes as it pleases. The dialogue is random at times with one character demanding that she has to get home to her pet, Bob… the zebra (??!!). It has the usual predictable lines like “they’re just fucking zombies right?!” and the rest is dominated by everyone just shouting over the top of each other. The zombies do not look that great visually, they are very basic but are true to form and they haven’t tried to mess about with them. They shuffle about dragging people down and at one point a zombie crushes a woman’s head in a vice to get to her brains, a cool touch to an otherwise excruciating movie. None of the characters have any depth to them and by the end you have no idea who survived or not. Aviel as The Zombinator just waddles around in his shades and trench coat looking like the world’s worst version of the Terminator and making things really awkward. As far as protecting people goes if he thinks dumping you in a disused warehouse with all the doors open and the windows smashed is a safe place to be then I would take my chances on my own thank you very much!! This really is a shambolic mess and if it wasn’t for a couple of kind of cool zombie moments I would have switched this off after the first 10 minutes. It’s another zombie movie ticked off the list but never to be revisited.
Review by Sarah Budd