When I first read the title “Zombie Isle,” the first thought was the popular survival horror game “Dead Island” where you can take on a horde of bikini clad, thong and thong wearing, tropicana-sippin’ zombies with various melee weapons. Sounds blood thirsty enough to be turned into a movie, right? Well “Zombie Isle” is obviously not the same brainchild from the people behind the “Dead Island” video game. One could only help and what happens to high hopes usually? High hopes are usually squashed and sure enough “Zombie Isle” was a big bust for not only meeting my expectations of being like the “Dead Island,” but for also being one of the many sheep in the undead genre.
A group of university students and their teacher embark on a field trip to an uninhabited island to study the habitat. When they split up into groups of two, all hell on the island is unleashed and the students succumb as meals for the zombies that inhabit the uninhabited island. Not only do the flesh eaters swarm the island, but a mad Nazi doctor looks to replace the brain his deceased love into one of the bodies of the gorgeous girls trespassing on his island.
“Zombie Isle’s” plot is, first off, way too scattered to fully explained how this island became ground zero for possible Nazi or U.S. Army experimentation – it’s not really explained. The Nazi mad doctor has a syringe he injects into the neck of the dead bodies to awaken them into flesh eaters. Nobody knows how he got to the island and no one really seems to ask. Also, the doctor keeps a giant three headed mutated zombie chained to a tree. Again, this all goes unexplained. Half the characters gets rip to shreds in the first 15 minutes of the film and that makes caring for characters really difficult.
On the positive spectrum of “Zombie Isle,” the gory schlock really is potent. Zombies scooping out brains with their hands, stomachs being ripped open and disemboweled, and brains being munched on. With the gory and the blood, the parodical nature of the film, especially with the two dimwitted hotties, can kind of keep us awake at times; as for the rest of the duration, watch your eyelids become heavy and heavier. The zombies themselves do a good job. Hell, even the three headed mutant zombie has a certain ghoulish charm to it even though it’s obviously fake and goofy cladded, but with director Robert Elkins’ use of cigarette burns and faux faulty-like film strips the creature is hidden behind the throwback grindhouse cinematic style. The cast consisting of Crystal Howell, Tony Jones, Apryl Crowell, Kyle Billeter, Davids S. Witt, and Jonathan Moody are seemly a tight-knit group of people who’ve worked on films together before. They feel comfortable in what they’re trying to accomplish, but their really is no depth in their personas.
On a technical note, the dialogue audibility is absolute crap. One minute you can hear the characters fine and then the next you’re turning up the volume. Constantly I was fiddling with the controls to find a ideal setting and just wasted my time and energy. Also, the soundtracks is very repetitive and drowns out most of the dialogue as well. The sure signs of low budget filmmaking and not making use of something better than to just repeat soundtrack audio. The foley sounds of squished heads and knocks to people’s dome pieces might as well come straight out of a Roadrunner and Coyote cartoon.
“Zombie Isle” heart and soul likes with the gore effects not leaving the film to be an empty shell. The characters are the empty shells and the production kind have been better along with fine tuned story in which the parody could have stayed as some of bits were smirk-able. Surprisingly, no nudity for a zombie film with a bunch of university students, but that doesn’t give the film low marks at all. With that being said, “Zombie Isle” releases this Tuesday October 7th, but if you must venture into an overplayed genre, there are better zombie films out there that won’t leave you stranded on an island.
Occupant Entertainment and Deep Silver announced that they will be backing a screen adaptation of their 8-million copies sold, mega-hit “Dead Island”. Deep Silver is the video game publishing label for Koch Media, an independent theatrical and home entertainment productions company. Occupant is eyeing a Q1 production start date in 2015.
“Dead Island” revolves around a isolated beach resort over-ran by fast-paced, blood thirsty zombies. Apocalyptic zombie films have been a dime-a-dozen with today’s technology advancement relying more of CGI than practical effects, but Koch Media’s CEO Klemens Kundratitz says that “The “Dead Island” universe offers a rich and unique setting that can expand beyond the pure gaming experience. We are very much looking forward to seeing Dead Island open up to new audiences and showing off the fun everybody at Deep Silver has with this brand.”
My faith in Kundratitz’s statement is strong due to sheer fact that “JCVD”, “Before The Devil Knows Your Dead”, and “Moon” were solid, independent films in the last 5 years. Dead Island is set on a much bigger scale and in the grand scheme of things, Koch Media will have to step up their involvement and maybe help Occupant Entertainment some with more cash on the table. We’ve seen video game adaptations go south before. Of course, most failure credits reside with Uwe Boll, but there was also “DOA”, “Mortal Kombat Annihilation”, and “Max Payne.”
In June, “Dead Island 2” promo trailer was released and already has a million plus hits on Youtube and while the trailer is great and quirky, nothing out beats the announcement trailer for “Dead Island” with it’s dramatic, frightening reverse sequence.
Dead Island 2
Remember that remarkable and emotionally stirring first trailer (see here) for the upcoming Dead Island video game? The trailer was gut-wrenched full of chaos in where no one was safe. Techland’s awesome remote island zombie game will turn many heads. A second trailer has been released and, though not as powerful as the first, still has that taste for the theatric or dramatic, if you will.
After the first trailer released, there wasn’t much time between the trailer and the news floating around about film producers and companies shopping around for the rights to make this bad boy into a full fledged feather-length film. Though nothing has come about the film yet, the game hasn’t even been released yet as we’re set for an August 1st date. You can pre-order your Dead Island Xbox 360 or PS3 copies now at Amazon.com!
See the trailer and synopsis after the jump!