Zombie Fight Club, 2014
Directed by Joe Chien
Starring Andy On, Jessica Cambensy, Michael Wong, Terence Yin, Jack Kao, Han Chang, Abby Fung, Heng-yin Chou
It’s the end of the century at a corner of the city in a building riddled with crime – Everyone in the building has turned into zombies. After Jenny’s boyfriend is killed in a zombie attack, she faces the challenge of surviving in the face of adversity. In order to stay alive, she struggles with Andy to flee danger.
When your movie is called Zombie Fight Club, you really don’t have to try hard in order to be cool or grab people’s attention. If you were to see this DVD on a shelf at your local HMV, you’re bound to pick it up to inspect it further at the very least. Sadly, Zombie Fight Club doesn’t really live up to its great name, and is actually slightly disappointing.
Working as like a cross between The Raid and Dawn of the Dead, Zombie Fight Club sees a zombie virus spread throughout an apartment block and we follow those who have yet to be bitten try and survive. There’s the drug dealers girlfriend, the SWAT team, the Yakuza power couple, a teacher and his daughter and a sweet old man who struggles to get by. All walks of life, just trying to survive the horror. So you might be asking yourself, ‘when does this become a Zombie Fight Club?’
Well, dear reader, that happens in the final act of the movie. The first hour of Zombie Fight Club feels like the plot of the film, but it quickly becomes apparent that it was just the set-up when the apocalypse takes over in the last half hour. And this is where everything interesting about the movie falls by the wayside in place of terribly clichéd post-apocalyptic turmoil. Remember that moment in The SpongeBob Movie 3D: Sponge Out of Water (come on you all saw it) when Mr. Crabs says, “it’s the apocalypse boy – I hope you like leather”? Well that was a funny line in a kids movie, but its an actual way of life in Zombie Fight Club.
The other main issue with the movie is director Joe Chien’s reliance on visual effects over practical effects. Everything in the movie looks either poorly Photoshopped or knocked up quickly in After Effects. It’s so distracting and it really takes out of the movie because none of the kills feel real and everything looks fake. Some of the zombie make-up is great, but they’re never given the full attention they deserve. Equally some of the choreographed fight scenes (of which there should be more) are fantastic and really pack a punch, but are marred by some dreadful CGI that hang over the movie like an unwanted fart.
But perhaps the worst offence given by the movie is its portrayal of women. There are a good number of female characters in the movie, and every one of them is treated horribly. Arguably the main character of the movie, Jenny, has only one job in Zombie Fight Club: which is to scream and be useless. Even when she’s given more to do, she is powerless unless there is a strong man around to help her. Another female character decides that a zombie apocalypse is the perfect time to talk about the fact they can’t have children and then looks to steal one. These are not the actions of well-rounded characters and it’s incredibly frustrating.
A wasted opportunity? Perhaps. Zombie Fight Club is a great title for a film, but its title doesn’t count for everything. The first hour of the film is quite entertaining (save for the dodgy effects), but the last half hour is a very boring, clichéd to the hills and totally predictable. It just feels as though Chien gave up half way through, which is a real shame.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.