Film - The Dead

The Dead

What do you have planned for the weekend? Fancy a little bit of undead apocalypse instead? Kneel Downe suggests The Dead...

And so here is one of my favourite zombie films of the last few years. Released in 2011 to very positive reviews but failing to set the world on fire, The Dead is a film more than worthy of your consideration.

This is zombie carnage of the old school. By setting the film in war torn West Africa, rather than the usual inner city, suburban environments we have all come to expect, Jonathan and Howard J Ford have served up a quite unique vision of the coming undead apocalypse.

By choosing to film in Burkina Faso, amongst other places and using 35mm film the directors have managed to deliver something that, while rather brutal and desolate, is strangely beautiful. The plot, such as it is, follows the struggle for survival of American Military Engineer Brian Murphy and local soldier Daniel Dembele, as they traverse wide African plains in search of a safe military base. True, some of the acting is clunky and sometimes the grain of the film can distract from the action but when it gets it right it gets it very right. Much is made of the open splendour of the country and here, the film is simply beautifully striking. The zombies are, refreshingly, of the old Romero variety. Slow moving, rotting and plentiful.

Nearly every scene features one or more of your favourite flesh eaters and it is the sheer weight of numbers that delivers the blanketing feeling of hopelessness.A huge shout out must go to the rather wonderful make-up and prosthetics; CGI makes very little appearance and the film is all the stronger for it. At times it can seem slow moving and little more than the same situation played out over and over again but how wonderfully these situations are handled. Make no mistake, this is desolate, brutal and depressing…as all the best zombie movies surely are? So, lets hear it for originality, brave decisions and a palpable love for the genre it pays homage to. This is one road movie you won't forget in a hurry…

Image - Amazon