Zoombies

ZOO1

When a virus begins turning the animals of a brand new, state of the art zoo into undead zanimals before its opening day, the few employees left are forced to fight for their survival.

I have a bit of a confession to make, a weakness of sorts when it comes to my love of all things horror. I have trouble watching anything concerning animals getting hurt, even if it’s just something staged. I can watch nearly anything else with little bother, but if an animal is being hurt, I have to fight the urge to either close my eyes or simply turn the movie off. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few other things that make me cringe as well, any kind of trauma to the eyes for instance gets me a little queasy, but nothing even close to the level of seeing violence against an animal. People think the undead don’t have hearts, we don’t have beating hearts, that’s true, but we still have hearts, and mine has a massive soft spot towards all of nature’s creatures, just not people. Seeing violence against animals in life will cause me to instantly fly into a rage the likes of which will make sure the cowardly human that decided to pick on said animal will regret his or her decision for a long time to come; seeing it in a movie brings up the same rage, but with a sense of discomfort that I find hard to ignore. I’m well aware that no animals are actually being harmed, or at least they shouldn’t be unless your name is Ruggero Deodato (I’d be lying if I said I hated Cannibal Holocaust, but still, fuck that guy), but it still gets to me to the point my unbeating heart breaks. Now, that heartache is directed at animals of the living variety, imagine how much rage I feel when animals of the undead variety are involved. Zombified animals can be fixed a lot easier sure, but as disgusting as people are to living animals, undead ones have it way worse. I’ll just leave you with a little word of warning, do not ever fuck with an undead animal around the living dead. Not every zombie is as passionate about all animals, living or dead, as I am, but I can guarantee that if you get caught messing around with an undead animal you will spend the next several years having small bits of your body cut off and eaten right in front of you, and even when the sweet release of death is about to give you an escape, we’ll zombify what’s left of you and leave you to rot. You have been warned.

Our film begins in a state of the art animal rehabilitation facility that has been renovated into an expansive zoo containing every type of endangered animal on the planet. Only a few days before the zoo’s grand opening, a strange virus begins affecting the animals, making them more aggressive and constantly agitated. The park’s veterinarian does his best to help a trio of monkeys, but during his treatment, one of the monkey’s dies, forcing the vet to use an experimental serum that seems to terrify his assistant, and for good reason since the monkey jumps back to life and begins viciously attacking everyone in the room. While the surgical room is turned into a bloody mess, a group of interns are being escorted around the park to train in various zoo procedures in preparation for opening day, but their training is cut short when the gory scene of primate caused death is discovered by security, the monkeys escape into the park, and the zoo is put on lock down. As the virus spreads throughout, making the zoo’s resident attractions rampage in their attempts to wipe out anything that walks on two legs, the few humans that survived the initial onslaught must overcome the numbers against them. Not only are they faced with their own imminent demise, but should they fail in containing the zanimal menace, the virus could spread out into the world, infecting the planet’s animals and ensuring the destruction of the human race.

ZOO3

{Never trust CGI monkeys, they’re the worst}

I’m not going to lie, I loved the idea of this movie. A zoo full of zombified animals murdering the pesky humans that had caged them sounded awesome, but I had serious reservations about watching it thanks in large part to the fact I was positive it was going to show some horrible violence directed at animals. Then I noticed that it was put out by The Asylum, and I realized that even if they did show anything, it was bound to look so absolutely terrible I wouldn’t be able to connect it to anything real. I was not wrong. I wasn’t expecting much when it comes to the special effects and makeup work on an Asylum film, but I wasn’t quite expecting effects so bad they would have been right at home in 90’s public access television. The animals are either terrible CGI, some of the worst I’ve seen yet in the last couple of years, a guy in a really bad gorilla suit, and some obviously stuffed carcasses they bought from their local taxidermist. There might be a few actual animals interspersed, mostly birds, but for the most part everything looks so bad, there was never anything even close to a sense of realism, thus lessening any impact it would have had otherwise. If it were just the animals that looked terrible with some great looking human deaths, I might have been okay considering my skittish nature in regards to animals being harmed, but unfortunately the entire movie is an example of just how awful CGI can be when you don’t care about your end result. I can’t say there was a single effect that looked anywhere close to decent, the deaths are some of the worst I’ve seen in a horror movie, all blood shown is CGI, and even something as simple as a person riding an elephant or being lifted into the air is accomplished with awful, awful CGI that would have embarrassed a made for TV movie from thirty years ago. One scene in particular really showed just how lazy they were when it came to the effects, a squished head. Understand, the only thing you see is the top of a shaved head that is busted open from being flattened by a gorilla, but instead of using any number of practical effects that would have looked much better and been relatively simple, they again went with terrible CGI. Hell, a painted, dye filled basketball would have looked a hundred times better than this garbage. It was ridiculous that no one cared enough to put work into making their effects look even close to decent, ridiculous and sad.

ZOO4

{I love how well trimmed the gorilla keeps his facial hair}

Terrible effects are kind of a staple for The Asylum, maybe not always this bad, but almost never good, so that was to be expected. Another Asylum staple are poorly written stories that flounder along, plot points that go nowhere, and constant inconsistences. Don’t worry, they decided to keep their reputation by doing the same thing with Zoombies. I’m not even really sure how the situation got so bad at the park in the first place really. The serum used in the beginning is played as being the reason the animals turn into zombies, something to do the serum and whatever virus was already plaguing the animals interacting in such a way that they mutated. Only a few minutes later however, it’s the virus itself that reanimates them and the serum (the one that was hyped up as being worrisome when it’s first shown) is never mentioned again. That’s why the zombified animals are already rampaging through the park only minutes after the original twelve or so monkeys escape, which is weird because most zoos have these nifty things called fences that keep the animals from running around all willy-nilly. Where did the extra nine monkeys come from considering I only ever mentioned three? That’s a good question I can’t answer. There are only three in the room at the beginning, but when they come back the number has multiplied as if the damn things just suddenly learned mitosis. Those are some of the major examples, but they are by far not the only ones. A leg that’s been stepped on by an elephant is treated as if it’s just been fractured, a tiny monkey is able to knock over a cabinet heavy enough to smash a grown man simply by standing on top of it, and our vet from the beginning has a monkey pop out of his chest which might not be all that weird except for the fact that the whole time he’s being helped, he neglects to let his helpers know he has a monkey in his chest which leads me to believe the thing just grew there (maybe that’s where all the extra monkeys came from). It’s not like I was expecting much here, again, it’s Asylum, but I’d at least expect a film to remember what happened within its first two minutes.

ZOO2

{I think they kept their eyes closed while they wrote the script too}

Though Zoombies is mostly a waste of time and you should never pay for it because this flick does not deserve a dime, it’s worth a watch if it comes your way for the low, low price of free and you’ve been pouring whiskey down your throat for at least a few hours. Some of the characters aren’t terrible, the CGI can at least be laughed at if you’re drunk enough, and the dialogue is so atrocious you wonder if someone wasn’t goofing and it accidentally ended up in the film. Though that last bit can be annoying as hell, it does lead to hilarious lines like “If we run fast enough, the animals can’t catch us.” Pretty sure many animals mastered that whole running faster than humans thing years ago.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Glenn Miller (Santa Claws, The Coed and the Zombie Stoner)

Starring: Ione Butler (Toby’s Big Adventure, The Adored), Andrew Asper (Cilla), and Kim Nielsen (Amityville Terror, Minutes to Midnight)

Written By: Scotty Mullen (The Coed and the Zombie Stoner)

Released By: The Asylum and Amazon

Release Year: 2016

Release Type: Television

MPAA Rating: TV-14

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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