Exit Humanity, 2011.
Written and Directed by John Geddes.
Starring Mark Gibson, Dee Wallace and Bill Moseley.
The story of Edward Young, a man who must fight to survive in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak during the American Civil War.
Exit Humanity takes a tried and tested genre, the zombie movie, and attempts to inject a bit of originality by basing it around the time of the American Civil War. Whilst it can’t really be said that this film breathes new life into the genre, it is a welcome addition, with an engaging story that breaks the mould of traditional zombie apocalypse narrative. This is not a tale of the humans in fact being worse than the monsters. There are a group of ‘baddies’, but their intent, although slightly warped, is well meaning.
Led by General Williams (Bill Moseley), our antagonists are a group of soldiers who are conducting experiments to find a cure for the outbreak. Their means are questionable, as Edward finds out when his initial quest to find his missing son turns into a search for another man’s sister, who has been kidnapped by the soldiers.
The story may be interesting and well thought out, but its pacing is questionable. The film stands at just under the 2 hour mark, and a remarkable amount of things happen in the first 20-30 minutes. The heart strings are tugged quite viciously as Edward finds that he just wants out after losing everything he had to live for. Mark Gibson does an outstanding job portraying complex emotions, even though he spends quite a lot of time just yelling – but I’d probably do the same if everything went down the pan at the rate his circumstances seemed to. The problem though, is that the pace is so very rapid to begin, that the middle ‘section’ of the film feels considerably slower in comparison, and at times a chore to endure.
Stylistically, interesting choices are made by splicing in some animation in the form of moving intricate drawings and graphic novel-esque art of the scribbly variation. It’s not that these drawings are not very good, it’s just that they don’t really seem to always fit particularly well. There are also some editing choices that have the same effect, with a sense of style over substance, a need to desperately make things a little bit unique when it is not really at all necessary.
See Exit Humanity if you are a fan of the zombie genre, because as I said, it offers something a little different. On top of that though, it is an interesting drama that only has its slight pitfalls. Those looking for ‘different’ directorial choices might be mildly impressed, but the pacing and editing choices for me were a little off putting.
Special features include a behind the scenes look at the making of the film, as well as the trailer.
Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★