The Undead AKA: Mutant Vampire Zombies from the Hood
Director: Thunder Levin
Tagline: It’s The End of the World. Yo.
This movie is an apocalyptic romp set in Los Angeles, when a radioactive storm cloud altars the genes of the majority of the world’s population into bloodsucking sex-starved zombies our heroes, a group of gang bangers, cops and an old bearded Mexican must fight their way across the city to try to reach what appears to be a safe house set up by a scientist and his daughter. The start of this movie gives off the same vibe as ‘Gangs of the dead’ and, while not the best low-budget zombie movie out there it certainly isn’t the worst, even if the writers do they’re best to confuse you with the actual characteristics of these mutant zombie vampires.
Zombie Quality: ****
The make up effects are quite good, as one would expect from this team with the zombies in varying states of decay with boils and decomposing skin over their body and despite nothing special it is a solid consistent effort and this is reflected in the score.
Zombie Behaviour: *
This is where the movie confuses itself referring to these zombie as any one of the three following terms: Mutants, Vampires or Zombies (As the title would suggest) and due to this all-encompassing plot device these creatures do not all display the same mannerism, in fact I might even compare them as much to the radiation victims in Nightmare City than Romero’s zombies. Some are able to talk, most can run and others prefer to engage in sexual activity…perhaps I am judging it too harshly against Romero’s template or maybe I am behind the times and this is where the future of zombie cinema lay.
However, these zombies’ bites are infectious and they need human blood (not flesh) to survive and so are driven to feed.
Zombie Threat: *****
These mutant zombies already, we must assume, have taken over the planet, our only hope is that there are more pockets of survivors out there.
Gore Content: ***
Advertising the FX were done by the make-up team behind one of the Pirates of the Caribbean teams immediately raises the level of expectation, and although not a gorefest what does appear on-screen is satisfying enough. From mutants ripping off and feasting on limbs to the dead being dissected all the way to a zombie oral sex act or two. I felt that what appeared on-screen was good but there could have been much more.
Overall Rating: ***
The film is reasonably well paced although the action and gun fight scenes in sometimes came across as lacklustre, although if this was down to the acting, choreography or the CGI budget I am not too sure. The film also had enough humour in it although once again, similar to Zombies!Zombies!Zombies! The writers feel the need to rip off Samuel L. Jackson in Snakes on a Plane (we can all guess the line) which is still enjoyable despite slowly becoming a cliché. Overall, this is solid effort and worth a bite.