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Home | Film Review: Zombie Dawn (2011)

Film Review: Zombie Dawn (2011)



The military calls upon a group of mercenaries and scientists to assist investigations on a mysterious epidemic on an isolated mining region. Theirs is a terrifying journey of death and betrayal.


Oh my god, it’s a low budget horror movie with subtitles, crap on a stick! Now I have to pay attention AND I have to read, are you kidding me? Here’s some advice to filmmakers regardless of your budget – dub. Spend the extra money and do it, you’ll sell and / or rent more copies, plus it adds ambiance as well.

Don’t make the consumer work. Your job as the filmmaker is to distract and entertain, remember, this is the day and age of the ADD viewer that’s checking Facebook, sending tweets and trying to find time to grab another beer from the fridge, something you can’t do when you’re reading subtitles. I know that sounds bad but it’s the truth, we all do it.


The zombie attack scenes are nothing special, basic first person shooter, nothing imaginative which leads me to my number one complaint with this movie. You would expect a zombie flick to feature lots of humans fighting zombies and vice versa, right? There wasn’t a whole of that happening here, in fact, it was more talking than killing. In fact I think I fell asleep writing this much like I did when I watched the movie.


The story is basic beyond belief and reminds of a weird take on “Saving Private Ryan” combined with a few plot twists from the movie “Doomsday.” Army soldiers and scientists have to fight their way through a quarantined, contaminated area, figure out the source of whatever has been turning humans into zombies and return back to base with the information. Simple, right? If you’re thinking that you’ve heard this before, well that makes two of us.


The makeup and special effects were terrible, the zombies and subsequent action were few and far between and it was subtitled. Did I mention how bad the script was and even worse the stiff, forced acting? Trust me, it’s bad.


The sets used in this movie were supposed to reflect a post-apocalyptic, burnt out location somewhere in Chile but it didn’t come across that way, it just wasn’t believable. The beginning of the movie looks like the filmmakers went into a ghetto and shot footage there. The movie failed from the beginning and never drew me in which means it only got worse from there.


I found no characters likeable and the plot was flat. The actors never brought me into their world and subsequently I never bonded with their characters. I kept waiting for the soldiers to fight zombie Nazis or find the zombified body of Private James Ryan wandering around but that never happened which would’ve been very cool, actually.

I looked hard trying to find signs of ingenuity and some kind of inspired, creative spark but it never happened which is a “must have” component for any movie made regardless of budget or genre. I’m still amazed and shocked that a movie of this genre can actually come across boring, lacking action and excitement. The first rule in ANY zombie handbook is this – Zombies attack humans, we’re their food source, and it’s up to us to destroy them and save mankind.

“Zombie Dawn” is one dimensional and bogged down by not being able to figure out what it was – “Am I zombie movie or something else, I can’t decide.” The overall vision of the movie was lost to bad acting, writing and lack of good.

The saving grace would’ve been bad dubbing or the inclusion of tons of zombie extras in bad makeup running around making strange grunting noises but it didn’t happen that way. I’m going thumbs down here. Don’t buy it, don’t rent it.

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