We start off as usual – thousands of hungry zombies wandering in empty cities, looking for fresh human meat.
In this particular case, the overall situation with zombie invasion seems to be worse than in other films – there’s no police, no government, just small groups of people here and there, doing their best to survive.
After a truly ugly CGI jeep crash scene in the beginning of the film, we focus on one of such groups of people, who stay in a refugee camp on Alcatraz (yes, the prison).
The group includes tough as nails Lynn Snyder (Mariel Hemingway), Dr. Dan Halpern (LeVar Burton), and villainous-looking Caspian (Danny Trejo).
Halpern is doing his best, trying to find a cure for the zombie “virus”, while Snyder tends to believe that some “Doctor Arnold” (French Stewart) who has been sending broadcasts from the mainland, has the antidote for the infection.
It doesn’t take long before zombies (who somehow learned how to swim) reach the refugee camp, and our group has to flee, into two different directions.
Asylum of course couldn’t make a film without CGI, so in “Rise of the Zombies”, like already mentioned, we get CGI car crashes, CGI helicopters, and a few CGI explosions.
Surprisingly, the zombie make-up effects are solid, and the film actually packs quite some gory and unpleasant (pregnant lady) scenes.
Mariel Hemingway hardly will be accepted as a first-class actress again, yet she looks great even in this kind of film – lean, mean and hot.
Danny Trejo, despite the film cover, is not the main character in the film, although his part is bigger than a usual cameo. As for French Stewart from “3rd Rock from the Sun” fame – he wasn’t even credited on the film’s IMDb page, despite having quite an important role. It’s okay though – we’ve updated his page…
While “Rise of the Zombies” doesn’t really offer something zombie movie fans haven’t seen before, it is not a complete stinker as some of Asylum’s films.
Some of the effects are quite good, there’s a lot of “zombie action”, and the acting remains within the tolerable level.
For Asylum movies – “Rise of the Zombies” ranks somewhere in the middle, definitely not their worst effort.
For zombie fans – check it out once, however the film will probably be quick to fall into a “forgettable” category.
BZFILM SCALE: 4/10
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