The Rezort (2015)

  • Director: Steve Barkerthe rezort
  • Writer: Paul Gerstenberger
  • Main Cast: Dougray Scott, Jessica De Gouw, Martin McCann

‘If we can treat the dead like meat, who’s to say the living won’t be next?’

In a world that has managed to survive a mass zombie outbreak, a luxury island – The Rezort – offers wealthy guests the opportunity to hunt the last existing zombies for sport. The safari is strictly controlled to ensure guests are in no real danger, until the security systems are brought down by a rogue virus and the hunters once again become the hunted.

This is an interesting twist on the zombie genre. What would humanity do after a mass outbreak, even if we won? Cash in on the anger and unresolved issues, of course! This is very much Jurassic Park with zombies. I presume the number of similarities between the two films was purposefully done, as an homage, rather than a clumsy rip off.

I’m really surprised this film didn’t get more attention on release. It clearly had a considerable budget behind it, good special effects and zombie make up, an attention grabbing plot and a pretty decent cast. It also follows the tradition of Romero, using zombie movies as a method of social commentary, with clear statements on the divide between rich and poor, and the dire treatment of refugees by those in power.

I did find there were some slightly challenging gender dynamics. When a hoard of zombies first attacks the group, then men leap into action with their guns, while the two women run off – holding hands – to hide. Further, none of the male characters seem to see anything wrong with the treatment of the zombies, while the women are tormented and emotional at their undead plight.

In terms of pure enjoyment, I much preferred the Korean zombie film Train to Busan, which I watched a day earlier. However, The Rezort is certainly an interesting film and definitely one for zombie aficionados to check out.

Train to Busan (2016)

  • Director: Sang-ho Yeontrain to busan
  • Writer: Joo-Suk Park, Sang-ho Yeon
  • Main Cast: Yoo Gong, Su-an Kim, Yu-mi Jung

‘I’ll take you to Mum, no matter what’

A father and his young daughter board a train bound for Busan, unaware that a zombie outbreak is taking hold of the hometown they’re departing. Unfortunately, one of the infected boards the train at the last moment and chaos ensues. The belief that Busan has been secured against the outbreak leads the survivors to fight to reach their destination, at all costs.

View the trailer here

This is a very well written Korean Zombie film, with a cast of strong characters who I really came to care about (or, in one case, loath with a passion – you’ll know who I mean if you watch it!). The actress playing the little girl Soo-an is a particularly impressive young actress.

The plot is fast paced, and the tension doesn’t really let up from the moment the characters board the train.  The scenes aboard the train are wonderfully claustrophobic, while some of the scenes set outside are truly spectacular. The special effects use on the zombies are striking, and there’s a slightly unusual take on zombie characteristics – these zombies don’t just run, they seem to move with supernatural speed.

An absolute must watch for zombie fans!

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

  • Director: George A. RomeroNOTLD.jpg
  • Writer: John Russo, George A. Romero
  • Main Cast: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea

‘They’re coming to get you Barbra!’

After an unprovoked attack at a graveyard, during which her brother is killed, a woman named Barbra takes refuge in a nearby farmhouse. There she is joined by Ben, who starts barricading the doors and windows whilst unsuccessfully trying to get some help (or sense!) out of the catatonic Barbra. Five more people join them there, and the group alternates between bickering amongst themselves and listening aghast to news reports of the swathe of murderous attacks that are taking place…followed by reports of cannibalism…and finally reports of the dead returning to life. The group try to decide how to deal with the hoard that has gathered outside the farmhouse, with the hope that they can make their escape to safety.

It was the passing of the horror master George A. Romero in July that provoked me to start this blog, as I found myself badly wanting to wax lyrical about his works. So, it is only fitting that my first real entry is dedicated to his masterpiece.

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