Dead Air

Dead Air

Director: Corbin Bernsen

Year: 2009

Tagline: All America’s worst fears. Realized. At once.

 

Controversial shock jock Logan (Played by genre stalwart Bill Moseley) begins his radio show but tonight is no ordinary night. Hours earlier, a toxic gas is released by terrorists at the local basketball stadium infecting all within the vicinity and turning them into flesh-eating ghouls. Leaving Logan and colleagues to try to help all the uninfected through constant updates…so far so Pontypool. However, this film is a little more action centred due to having more characters and a family subplot.

Zombie Quality: *

These ‘zombies’ can only really be distinguished from the uninfected due to having bleeding eyes, with only the odd character showing anything remotely like the dead we know (skin flapping around, realistic cuts and gashes) although this is few and far between. The infected are also physically articulate, able to run and grab much like those in 28 days later

Zombie Behaviour: *

The infected are  physically articulate, able to run and grab much like those in 28 days later and although you do not see it, there is the possibility that an infected person was able to continue riding a motorcycle after turning. They do not seem to crave flesh which is disappointing but merely slash and grab at their victims who then turn once infected.

Zombie Threat: **

The infection spreads quite quickly, with these terrorist attacks taking place at events throughout the country however (spoiler alert) we learn that these people are not the living dead and will in time die from the infection, decimating the population.

Gore Content: *

This unfortunately is where the film falls furthest, there is very little in the way of gore giving almost a TV film feel (accentuated by the look and feel of the camera work). The infected spend their time grabbing and slashing at their victims rather than biting and while this may work if we are left to imagine it but the visual representation sadly just leaves us disappointed.

Overall Rating: **

This film has potential, although less original than Pontypool, it is this generic adherence that helps the film to flow and immerse you. This supported by a strong cast performance, reuniting Moseley and Tallman from the NoTLD remake and some  well written dialogue in parts. However it falls flat primarily due to a lack of visual violence making this almost a child friendly film that would not look out-of-place as a later afternoon TV movie and a poorly worked terrorism angle obviously born out of the United States feelings at the time and are delivered in a heavy-handed manner.

As long as you are not looking for a gorefest or accurate zombie flick (if there can be such a thing) then this is an enjoyable film with a different focus and still worth checking out.

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