Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Zombie Hunter (2013)

If your reaction to the cover image above is "A zombie action film starring Danny Trejo?  Tell me more!" then I am afraid what I am going to tell you is that the cover image lies.

I mean sure, Danny Trejo is in the film.  But he's in a far more minor role than the DVD cover suggests.  He's on-screen for well under ten minutes all up, in short appearances stretched over the first half of the film.  The film's protagonist is actually the guy standing behind Trejo.  Well, most the time, anyway.  Sometimes the film forgets that and makes the protagonist the woman in the white top.  Or at least, it gives her narrative voice overs, which are usually the sole prerogative of the protagonist.

Frankly I wish they'd made the woman the protagonist full stop, because the guy ... well, he's no Danny Trejo, let's put it that way.

So anyway the cause of the zombie outbreak in this film is a highly addictive drug called "Natas".  Yeah, I wonder how they came up with that name. eh?  If you use Natas for too long, you become a flesh-eating member of the undead.  This isn't a bad idea for how the outbreak could spread quickly - tens of thousands of users changing in a short period of time - but you can pretty much forget about it after the opening scene.  Is the zombification an intended side effect of Natas?  If so, who is behind it?  Could a sample of the drug be used to engineer an antidote?  These are all questions the film has no interest in asking, let alone answering.

Instead we get to meet "Hunter", a poor man's Mad Max pastiche in a post-apocalyptic zombie world.  Hunter falls in with a small group of survivors through circumstances too stupid to recount.  Their leader (played by Trejo) then gives him the big data dump of exposition that sets up the rest of the film's plot (such as it is).

One thing that Trejo's character doesn't mention - presumably he doesn't know? - is that there's also this mutant thing with big claws running around the place.  What this is, where it is from (other than being a pastiche of something from Resident Evil, I mean) and other such details are again things the film isn't much concerned with.

There's little to recommend here.  Most of the acting is bad, all of the effects are dodgy, and the script is entirely free of anything redeeming.  It's just dull and tiresome stuff that doesn't even approach "so bad it's good" territory.

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