Thursday, June 26, 2014

Schlockbusted #12: Zombie Hunter

You know those guys who like zombie movies just a little too much? I don't just mean the gore fiends like me who like the movies, good and bad, but the aggro types who like to think about how they would actually fare in a zombie apocalypse and visualize the prospect of smashing heads in a desolate wasteland with a glint of mad joy in their eyes. There's something just a bit creepy about someone who actually thinks that kind of world might have an upside; that a world gone mad is like a video game come to life with no responsibilities and plenty of excuses for mindless bloody mayhem. Sometimes those kinds of assholes make movies, and usually they turn out like Zombie Hunter

Zombie Hunter is about a Zombie Hunter named Hunter (fucking seriously) who walks around the post-zombified desert Midwest in a leather jacket clearly too warm for the weather, inner monologuing pointless cool guy asides to himself as he occasionally hacks away at undead beasts in between swigs of tequila. He has a dark and somber past that will be revealed eventually (spoiler: his family's dead and you won't care at all), but mostly he's just a badass who lives to be badass, as if a planet descended into Hell was always more his speed anyway, and the whole apocalypse thing was basically a net positive. Of course, when I say he's a badass, what I really mean is that the movie keeps telling you this without actually showing you; basically the Riddick model of storytelling. Oh, and you want to know the best part? Despite what you may have hoped based on the poster, this guy isn't Danny Trejo.

That's right. Danny Trejo, that actual badass ex-convict turned actor best known as the man behind Machete is not, contrary to what the advertising would have you believe, the main character of this movie. Oh, he's in it, for maybe about ten minutes of screen time total, and has maybe two legitimately cool scenes of him taking an axe to zombie heads and fighting a giant super zombie respectively, but because the people who made this movie don't quite understand that any hero put up against Trejo will always fail in comparison, our lead is some unknown white guy who grimaces like Snake Plissken without the eye patch and wishes he were half the man as the right Reverend Jesus (yes, that's Trejo's character's name, and yes, he should have been THIS ENTIRE FUCKING MOVIE!).

Zombie Hunter is basically wish fulfillment for zombie loving frat boy dick bags who think they'll turn into Clint Eastwood at the first site of the plague even though they only have a vague idea of who Clint Eastwood actually is. Our heroic cypher never flinches whether he's killing zombies or bedding the nubile young innocent girl among the band of the most annoying group of survivors you'll ever see in a zombie movie (and that's saying something). Personally, I would have gone with the slutty one instead, at least before she takes a chainsaw to the gut. Oh, and just so you know, this happens in a town called Dahmer, filled with psychopaths. Cause that's just so cool, right?

Last time I reviewed Battle of the Damned, and it may have sounded like faint praise when I commended that film for simply getting the basics of a zombie action movie right. Zombie Hunter is why the bar is so low as to make Battle of the Damned a highlight of the current state of this genre. Its technically well made, at least in the sense that the zombies look gross enough and the blood spills when and where its supposed to, but there's just a sort of ickiness to the whole thing that pervades it even before the ickiness you're supposed to feel in these movies. When it ceases to be about terror, when living among the dead stops being a bad thing, it doesn't become a good thing, and it isn't fun, no matter how much glee those onscreen might take from the carnage. Especially when you kill off Danny Trejo ten minutes after you introduce him.

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