After crashing off the coast, Lt. Brian Murphy battles for survival across the vast terrains of Africa in search for a way to get back to his beloved family. Joined by local military man Daniel Dembele who is also searching for his son, together both men join forces all the while battling against the ever present threat of the living dead!
Lt. Brian Murphy (Rob Bowman) is just trying to get home. His plane crashed in route and now he is stuck inside this zombie infested hell hole. Sgt. Daniel Dembele (Prince David Osei) is giving up on staying post-bound, so that he can look for his son. The 2 of them unite with 1 car between them but with the common goal of getting out of harm’s way. There is word of a military base that they can take up refuge and safety. Though it’s a long drive to get there and the dead never sleep. Driving for miles would “seem” to be enough to escape the constant onslaught of walking dead. Though where ever Murphy arrives, they are stumbling about, white-eyed and hungry. Rob Bowman makes his role believable due to the actual real world temperature conditions and harsh open country. When he dons his Arab garb, we really can feel that its a necessity rather than a production costume.
Filmed entirely in Africa, this fantastic zombie film takes us back to the days of Fulci and early Romero. As the dead stumble about in their decomposed stages, it’s not aggressive speed that is at their advantage. It is pure numbers. In fact, there is a certain paranoia that the dead pretty much exist everywhere you run to that sinks into your psyche during the film.
“The Dead” never breaks it’s own rules which is nice to see for a change. The un living are scary enough in their meandering that they often fill the screen with an off-camera paranoia. Avoiding being eaten is not really an option, just as long as they can get close enough to you.
Typically zombie films, at least these days are not content with the slow crawl. Maybe because of the fear of losing audience, or just the need to stay with the trends. Though what is unique here is that every potential victim has a built in time allotment they can anticipate before getting attacked. That anticipation is what builds on the tension. When our screen characters are assumed safe per vehicles, the dead still manage to saturate every part of their world.
The gore is kept within the old school route more applicable to Romero than Danny Boyle. The close ups are brutal and contain a heavy amount of flesh tearing and skin biting. In fact, it doesn’t take alot to get attacked. You can out run them but they never stop, so while you sleep they still have a chance to tear you to pieces.
Those who have followed the production, know that is wasn’t a pleasant one with reports of real viral outbreaks and local troubles that would test any film shoot. You have to admire the team for sticking it out and keeping to their vision. It would make one wonder why a film team would consider dealing with extra baggage per way of corrupt officials and local thieves. Though one thing is for sure. The backing provides a unique experience that just isn’t the same feel as a city or urban setting.
The movie moves at a pretty slow grind with a simple premise. It never abuses its surroundings and pays homage in many ways to a cycle of zombie films. Tonality, a beautiful back ground of African culture and solid plotline make for incredible zombie experience. Fans of old school approach will thrive in its classic appeal. If you’ve run your course of modern zombie fare then “The Dead” will satisfy any horror fan.
The Dead (2010)