Seeing that this is based on a tower defense style app I shouldn't have had high hopes. I really didn't though. I knew that this wasn't going to be good, but I knew it would at least be funny to watch with some friends while drinking wine. Warning: do not attempt to watch Zoombies sober and alone. Let me know how you feel after wards if you do though.
The basic story is that a virus breaks out at a wildlife sanctuary that zombie-fies all of the animals. The park isn't open to the public yet, but the outbreak just happens to occur on the day that the interns arrive to start their training. It's like a cross between Jurassic Park and the aforementioned show Zoo, but only if both had really poor production value. And bad acting, terrible CGI, and gaping plot holes. The park director, the security staff, and the interns have to survive while trying to stop the virus from escaping. They all spend most of the movie alternately running away from or fighting zombie animals. Or more accurately, running away from green screen pictures of animals. The CGI was clearly done by a person with only the vaguest of ideas of what wild animals actually look like or how they move. We had hoped that the lack of any recognizable names meant that their money went into effects. Clearly that was not true. I guess their extra money went in to coke because otherwise I don't know what happened here. The park is supposedly home to alligators, pandas, and dolphins and at first I was disappointed not to see any of them in zombie mode. After a few looks at their zombie effects I think I'm okay with not seeing them. Better no zombie panda than a really bad one. That's the gist, but now on to more specific thoughts.
Since the virus outbreak takes place in the first 5 minutes of the movie you might think you're off to a good start (no matter how bad the first zombie monkey looks. It's always gotta start with monkeys doesn't it?), but if you thought that you'd be wrong. After that we get 20 minutes of character introduction and plot which is all pointless. Half the men in this movie look like they came staight from porn, and if their performances are anything to judge they went right back there when this wrapped up. We've got the park director giving the interns a tour, and handily giving more information about why the hell these people are here anyway. Besides this woman who looks like she's thinking "nailed it!" at the end of every scene and her ridiculously precocious daughter we've got a suit wearing yuppie type, a bitchy co-ed, a guy I named Dude Manbro (his mentor was Guy Mandude if you were curious), and a new security guard who's a cheap Lara Croft knock off. We also get introduced to the rest of the staff which seems inanely small for such a big park. There is one staff person per area, a few doctors, and a security staff of three or four guys (two of whom you'll want to have die immediately, but don't). In the fly-over shots you get of the park you'll see that the place is huge so it's pretty clear that the park wasn't exactly set up for a successful opening anyway. The security staff has a Jurassic Park style tracking system that shows the location of every animal in the park though, and since you only ever see about ten blips on the screen at any one time it doesn't seem like a bad staff to animal ratio. It's just not a very good animal sanctuary. And that reminds me - we're told that this park is home to only endangered species that they're trying to protect. I didn't know Capuchin monkeys, lemurs, giraffes, and parrots were endangered. Oh wait, they're not. I don't know why I'm nitpicking something like that out of a movie like this, but it bugged me. Maybe it's because I can't get a paid writing gig, and someone was paid actual real money to write this crap. I would have done a better job for $50. There were so many times where I either thought or said "wait, what?", and not because I didn't hear clearly. It was because what the characters were saying made absolutely no sense or was completely idiotic. Here's just one dumb example: a character is worried that his zombie lemur (or zombie lion, I can't really remember right now) scratches are getting infected. Guy Mandude tells him that he has an ointment that will help, but in the next shot you see that said ointment is clearly a huge tub of Vaseline. Now I'm no doctor, but I'm smart enough to know that Vaseline will not heal any zombie animal scratches of any kind. I could go on and on, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Anyway, there's a good half hour between the first and second death, and that's not really the way to capture the sort of audience this movie is likely to attract. To make a movie like this bearable I need a death every few minutes at least, and if that's all the story you can muster maybe just leave it out next time in favor of more death.
Eventually people do start dying though, and if not well done, at least it's all hilarious. Monkeys rip out a woman's eyes, an eagle sets up a nest in another woman's torso, a guy gets drawn and quartered by giraffes, and so forth. The fights are pretty bad too. In a scene eerily similar to the kids hiding from the raptors in Jurassic Park we have people hiding from a gorilla behind a paper screen. There's kind of a lot of hiding from animals behind stuff. Good thing they don't have good senses of smell or hearing, huh? Two guys push a papier-mache rock over onto that same gorilla (because they could only afford one suit and one drawing), but don't bother to see if it's really dead. The little girl is confronted by a zombie koala, somehow manages to kill it, and we don't even get to see it happen. All we get is the little girl covered in blood being cleaned up by her mother. Lame. So to get to the point of all this nonsense: there's a big aviary, and if the birds get infected and escape the virus will take over the world. The remaining people are either going to set all the birds free before the infection can reach them or kill everything. Because if set free the birds couldn't land in the park, and get infected that way. Seriously, $50 Asylum - call me. But the virus gets in so they have to try and kill all the birds before the birds peck out the glass keeping them in and infect the planet. None of the people in this movie deserve to live, and if they are representatives of the world in which this movie takes place neither does anyone else. Obviously a few people live, and they leave the door open for a sequel. Considering the way these kinds of movies are getting cranked out now I'd bet on a sequel.
|Since I couldn't find any more movie images here's a random zombie panda|
Beth got her start writing for a site called Movie Criticism for the Retarded (which has been reborn as dorkdroppings.com. Check it out sometime), but was pulled out of an early retirement to write for Needless Things. When she isn't writing she plays video games and watches bad horror movies while eagerly awaiting the zombie apocalypse. She may try to save her husband and/or their cats, but luckily hasn't had to make those tough decisions yet.
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