DVD Review – Apocalypse Z (2013)

Apocalypse Z, 2013.

Directed by Luca Boni and Marco Ristori.
Starring Christian Boeving, Mike Mitchell, Daniel Vivian, Tara Cardinal, Jon Campling, Carl Wharton and Uwe Boll.


A bacteriological weapon developed by the US Government to create a super soldier – spreads an epidemic in a quiet little town in the middle of Eastern Europe. All citizens have been turned into infected zombies. The plan is to bring an atomic bomb into the city’s nuclear plant to pretend a terrible accident occurred. No one has to know the truth. A team of mercenaries is hired to complete the mission. The battle is on. Hordes of monsters against the team. Who will survive?

Uwe Boll possesses a unique ability. The ability to keep producing films when everything he has so far created has been at best a turgid mess. Even Paul W.S Anderson has directed a couple of entertaining films. Uwe Boll does not however, possess the ability to act.

So when I say that he is a credited ‘actor’ in Apocalypse Z (known as Zombie Massacre in other markets), you must surely get an idea for how truly awful this ‘film’ is.

I use these terms loosely because to apply them fully would be an affront to the many creative people out there who make films that are worthwhile. There are many entertaining films. There are many deep and meaningful films. Some are even both.

Apocalypse Z is neither. It is a series of poorly acted, poorly written scenes using the most rudimentary of plots to hold it together. Dialogue scenes, filled with supposed banter between characters, are tediously long-winded and rambling without adding anything to the story or progressing it in a meaningful way.

Let’s break it down a bit further. The experience was so painful that I’m going to use bullet points, as it’s not worth using paragraphs.

None of the actors even attempt an accent that matches their character. This leads to a U.S President with a German accent and American soldiers with English twangs. The nearest a French (I think) mercenary gets to a French accent is possibly being born in Europe. 
An actor clearly has to sidestep the camera as he exits a scene.
Shoot-outs depict supposedly highly trained soldiers waving their weapons around in the same fashion I waved a stick when I was five years old. 
The sword wielding, top-knotted female assassin looks more likely to cut herself than an enemy, whilst the zombies are obviously nowhere near her when she slashes them.
Our main hero – a jacked-up alpha male with a gravelly voice – runs out of breath moving into the scene. All weights, no speed work. 
Upon finding a car to make a getaway in, we are treated to the ludicrous sight of four armed soldiers in a convertible Volkswagen Beetle. You couldn’t make it up!

For this review I thought it might be novel to watch the film with a group of friends. Two fell asleep, with one other spending half of it on their phone. The last just zoned out. I’d later see an amusing Facebook status from ‘phone friend’ explaining the difference when he was asked if he was watching the new Brad Pitt movie. “No the two aren’t to be confused. World War Z cost about $200 million, this cost about 20 quid.” Maybe I should have posted that as the review. It looks as though the decision to capitalise on a film that everyone has heard of could work sadly.

To avoid this piece being completely one-sided, there was one positive; though even that is negatively tinged. Whilst attempting to rip-off the tyrant monster from the Resident Evil series, the production team actually managed to create a very effective monster. It’s possibly where the entire budget was spent. The ending was also ripped straight from Capcom’s zombie franchise.

Not every film is going to be an Oscar contender. Many will disappear into the ether, their averageness condemning them to the past. Then there are films so bad that they cross over into being entertaining. Sadly Boni and Ristori’s creation will find itself firmly stuck in the bad area.

There are a multitude of zombie films from the last several decades that you could watch. All I can suggest is that you do yourself a favour and rent Zombi 2, Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, or any Romero film (yes even the newer ones). Just don’t watch Apocalypse Z. Even the tagline knows what’s going on. “There is no hope”.

Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ / Movie

Chris Cooper

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