Zombie Night DVD Review
Reviewed by Neon Maniac
DVD released by Maverick Entertainment
Directed by David J. Francis
Written by David J. Francis & Amber Francis
2003, Region 1 (NTSC), 91 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on November 8th, 2005
A bunch of people who did not deserve to be in a movie.
A limited nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan (perhaps the one Ken Osmond wanted) somehow causes people in the US to turn into flesh eating zombies. Groups of survivors band together for survival and act out all of the clichéd situations that have been done to death in every zombie movie that came before it. You've seen, heard, and read it all before. Nothing new here, move along.
The sound is flat and at times it is muffled. Throughout most of the film, the audio track is mismatched with the video. Sometimes it is synched up, other times it is not. The experience is not unlike watching an old Godzilla movie, or one of the badly dubbed Shaw Bros. Kung Fu action flicks. This makes a bad movie like Zombie Night even more frustrating to watch.
Zombie Night has a soft picture and looks like it was filmed on video. At times the quality is OK, at other times it suffers from overly jagged edges and artifacting. While it is mostly 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the aspect ratio in some scenes at the beginning of the movie looks to be full frame 4:3 squeezed into a 1.85:1 picture; or maybe it was filmed with a fish eye lens for some bizarre reason. To top it off, the studio's web site says the disc is full screen. Apparently nobody who made or represents the film knows what aspect ratio it really is.
Trailers for other Maverick Entertainment releases. Nothing else. Thank God.
If someone should be masochistic enough to want more of this movie, the filmmakers sell their own version of the DVD that is loaded. It has a commentary, deleted scenes, and a documentary. You can find it at the Primal Films web site.
As a life long zombie fan, I have always operated under the assumption that there is no such thing as a bad zombie movie. Even when they are bad, they are pretty good. Hell, I've seen more Spanish and Italian zombies than most people, and even in the most bizarre films I felt entertained on some level. Not with Zombie Night. Zombie Night is one of the worst movies I have ever had the displeasure of viewing. It is frustratingly bad, which is about as close to the opposite of entertainment you can get without your head exploding.
There is almost nothing that Zombie Night does right as a movie.
With low budget horror flicks, there are a lot of things that can be overlooked or skimped on due to monetary restraints. It's the nature of the animal, and is to be expected. One thing that should never be skimped on, is the script. The script for Zombie Night is absolutely horrible. It has wooden dialogue that only serves to create wooden characters. The time line makes no sense. The pacing is nonexistent, and the entire film over reaches the abilities of the filmmakers. Most of these problems could have been fixed with a little thought from the screenwriters, David and Amber Francis. Watching the film, it is readily apparent that they did not care enough, or did not know enough, to bother spending the time fixing any of the problems.
Zombie Night does have a few good things going for it. For the most part, the special effects and makeup are better than to be expected. Some of the scenes are shot quite well and have a professional feel. All of the acting was amateurish and melodramatic, but some of the actors did a decent job. Unfortunately, these small graces do nothing for the overall movie and only shows that some talented people went to waste while making this movie.
In the end, there is no way I could recommend this movie to anyone — not even the most die hard zombie fan. It does have its share of gore, which for some may be the one redeeming quality. In the end, it was not enough for me. This is not worth buying, this is not even worth a rental. This is not worth spending the time to watch it.
I want my 91 minutes back.
Movie - 1 / 5
Audio - 1 / 5
Extras - 5 / 5 (Because the filmmakers were merciful enough not to make any!)
DVD - 1 / 5