Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption DVD Review
Written by TGM
DVD released by Pacific Entertainment
Directed by Ryan Thompson
Written by Ryan Thompson, Ryan Lieske, Matthew O’Day, and John Tillotson
2011, Region 1 (NTSC), 101 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on October 20th, 2011
Johnny Gel as Knox
Fred Williamson as Moses
Joseph Scott Anthony as Robert
Tommy Beardmore as Lucas
Jerry Lynch as Rome
Alicia Clark as Sarah
Tokkyo as Lawrence
Didrik Davis as Billy
Vong Lee as Hawkins
Angelique Sky as Cienfuegos
Richard Raphael as Devine
Daniel Lang as Doc Potter
Jimmy Doom as The Hooded Man
Ghelan Ismail as Belfour / Zombie
Set a decade or so after a global undead infestation, Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption tells the story of Knox, a badass, uninfected wasteland raider who sees the error in his murderous and raping ways. His new take on life obviously doesn’t sit well with his former buddies, who banish him to the desert to die. Barely surviving the ordeal, Knox stumbles upon a band of crotchety (but nicer) survivors lead by Black Cobra himself, Fred Williamson.
Once the megalomaniacal raider leader realizes that Knox is still alive, he dispatches his goons in an effort to terminate him. This drags Knox’s new band of friends into a seemingly insurmountable battle, not only with the raider clan, but also with the unrelenting zombie horde that continue to ravage the countryside.
The premise here is sound, but the execution is unfortunately lacking. Knox, a spindly C. Thomas Howell look-a-like, comes across as a poor man’s Kyle Reese from The Terminator mythos. Too bad he’s more Anton Yelchin than Michael Biehn and simply too slight of frame to really be taken seriously as a marauding menace, redeemed or otherwise. The set design is hampered by the obvious low budget and the acting and action sequences, including those of Fred Williamson, are hammy, stiff, clumsy, and the majority of the time laughable. Mr. Williamson is a goddamned legend, so it’s sad to see him awkwardly slide across the hood of a truck for no apparent reason like T.J. Hooker, or lumber around tiger-fisting during a zombie horde attack. Much of this is to be expected, given the movies limited budget, and can be overlooked (or mitigated by a couple of beers).
My biggest gripe, despite the fantastic looking DVD cover, is that Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption isn’t really about zombies. These undead flesh-eaters take an unfortunate back seat to the raider story line and could have easily been replaced with a band of wolves or some other herd-like menace. The plot is more akin to one of the myriad of cheeseball ‘80s The Road Warrior rip-offs pitting two warring factions against each other for control of the remaining limited resources of a dead or dying world.
Despite the aforementioned extensive criticism, Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption still has some fun moments found within. Come for the zombies, but stay for the hot girl in a Princess Leia inspired slave bikini, a Snake Plissken wannabe, and to experience one of the greatest lines ever uttered in the annals of cinematic history; “If I want your opinion, I’d rape it out of you.”
Video and Audio:
The anamorphic widescreen presentation of Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption isn't too bad, save for one really weird scene with an overload of artifacting. The Dolby 5.1 audio will send a few noises to your surrounds, but would not, or should not, act as the demo disc to impress your friends.
It's always appreciated when low-budget production offers up some meatier special features. Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption includes deleted scenes (better left on the cutting room floor), a behind-the-scenes featurette, multiple commentaries, a slew of trailers, and an image gallery.