Disaster L.A.: The Last Zombie Apocalypse Begins Here Blu-ray Review
Written and directed by Turner Clay
2014, Region A, 83 minutes, Not Rated
Blu-ray released on September 23rd, 2014
Justin Ray as John
Jerod Meagher as Turner
Stefanie Estes as Tori
Ron Hanks as Scott
Michael Taber as Adam
Dennis Leech as Nate
When a meteor shower hits a L.A., a group of friends decide to hightail it out of the city. Unfortunately for them, there's more than just destruction that's slowing their exit. Seems like the space rocks released toxic smoke that turns those that breathe it into evil eaters…zombies if you will. Things just can't be easy.
Despite the (overly long) title of Disaster L.A.: The Last Zombie Apocalypse Begins Here, the film has little to offer in the form of the walking – or in this movie's case, running – dead. In fact, you don't see the first zombie until about thirty minutes in and, even worse, you don't see more than three at once at any given point. If you are promising the last zombie apocalypse, I'd expect to see some goddamn zombies.
Now I'm a generous fellow, and the lack of dead men and women walking would be forgivable if there was a good story. (Hell, I'm one of the few that actually, truly enjoyed season two of The Walking Dead, so that should say enough right there.) But here, not only is the story so vanilla it's white, but the characters are the epitome of bland. They are such cardboard cutouts in dire need of any sort of development, you just don't care about them. Each is interchangeable with the next, and the lack of any standout acting doesn't help any. Plus, the script doesn't do the characters any favors as the decision-making is questionable at every turn, as if the writer was making changes on the fly. It's a bit of a mess.
I try to find something positive in anything I review, and in the case of Disaster L.A. I have to give props to the first 10 minutes or so. The meteor strikes and the confusion and destruction that immediately follow are all handled well. I was rather impressed with the sound design of the wreckage at the beginning of the film and it really makes this low-budget movie feel far bigger than it is. In addition, the zombie makeup is effectively creepy (even if there is little gore to go along with it).
If anything, Disaster L.A.: The Last Zombie Apocalypse Begins Here is accurate in both title and story in that this particular genre has all but run its course. There are exceptions to everything of course (and if The Walking Dead doesn't get its shit together, it's not one of them), but they are becoming few and far between. Skip this one.
Video and Audio:
Disaster L.A. is riddled with digital noise. For the most part it's forgivable considering the budget of the film, but there are scenes – in particular, those where the characters are in darkened cars – where it's so bad it's distracting.
The audio fairs better than the video. As mentioned above, the opening scenes are impressive and the surrounds get a decent workout as meteors and helicopters fly around the room. Effects and score never overtake the audio and it's all balanced well.
There are no special features to be found on this disc.