Zombie Hunter Blu-ray Review
Directed by K. King
Written by K. King and Kurt Knight
2013, Region A, 93 minutes, Not Rated
Blu-ray released on October 8th, 2013
Martin Copping as the Hunter
Danny Trejo as Jesús
Clare Niederpruem as Alison
Terry Guthrie as Jerry
Jason K. Wixom as Ricky
Danny Trejo certainly has whored himself out in his twilight years and I say that with the utmost respect. He’s been in so many projects of late I’m pretty sure I just saw him play a super-absorbent tampon in a Tampax commercial. With more than forty-five items listed on IMDB slated for a 2012-2014 release, you can’t say that Trejo is resting on his laurels. That’s rather remarkable considering that the man is just shy of seventy years of age. SEVENTY. Let me put that into some perspective for you. Mr. Trejo was born three weeks shy of D-Day. He was born eleven years before DisneyLand opened. He’s probably the same age as your grandfather, but a smidge more Mexican, and way more badass. Now, not all of these new projects are, what we like to call in the biz, “good” (Rise of the Zombies I’m looking at you), in reality some are downright dreadful. Thankfully, Zombie Hunter can’t be counted as one of the abject failures. In fact, it’s a pretty damned decent film.
A nameless hunter, desperately channeling his inner Mad Max, is found barely alive on the side of the road. He is taken in by a ragtag group of survivors that include Trejo, as an axe-wielding priest, a stripper, the fat guy, the old guy, the hot doe-eyed girl next door, and her scrawny teenaged brother who makes DJ Qualls look robust by comparison. Of course, their makeshift sanctuary is ultimately overrun by the undead, and they are forced to flee. They head out toward a local airport with the hopes of flying a Cessna to one of the uninhabited smaller islands off Hawaii to start anew. Of course, their plan goes to hell pretty quickly and they are all left scrambling for their lives.
Zombie Hunter is above average but not without its flaws. The main problem being the casting of the nameless hunter. It’s as if Sean Patrick Flanery (the not Norman Reedus guy from The Boondock Saints) and Bill Pullman had a son in a coma, who still tried very, very, very hard to be a tough guy, but ultimately was about as intimidating as a wet loaf of Wonder bread with the on-screen charisma to match. There was also a poor creative choice to make the zombie blood Pepto-Bismol pink. It’s weird, unnecessary, and turns otherwise excellent gore into gimmicky shtick that is distracting and disappointing. The writers also couldn’t help themselves from ripping off the uber-mutant zombie concept from Resident Evil while stumbling with the lack of proper CGI budget to raise their appearance from the level of something rejected by the Syfy channel. Trejo fans be forewarned: despite being on the cover, he’s got about ten minutes of overall screen time. Don’t get me wrong, he makes the most of it, chewing through his lines like a fat kid eating cake. Unlike many of his recent appearances and cameos, you can tell Mr. Trejo is having a bit of fun here. The montages of him swinging his bloody axe around, decapitating zombies with wild abandon, sans shirt is worth the price of admission alone. There are few celebrities I’d like to see topless at seventy. Rue McClanahan, maybe; Winston Churchill, definitely; and now, Danny fucking Trejo.
Now Zombie Hunter doesn’t revolutionize the zombie genre, nor does it really offer anything new and refreshing (and honestly, what could at this point in the oversaturated, zombie-obsessed, post The Walking Dead world we live in), but it does succeed in being a tremendously competent and extremely entertaining hack and slash fest with a mostly above-average cast and overachieving production values.
Video and Audio:
The 2.35:1 1080p video presentation is bright and sharp. The lossless 5.1 audio is impressive and will certainly work out your surround system.
The extras are scarce, limited to a trailer and previews for other Well Go USA releases. Quite disappointing.