Review: FAST ZOMBIES WITH GUNS (2009) Reviewed by: BRYAN “SHU-IZMZ” SCHUESSLER
Fast Zombies With Guns, directed by Bennie Woodell, is an independent zombie film that does not exactly follow the norms or rules of conventional zombie films. The story starts out with a mob boss Paul Varlo (Charles Ramsey) attempting to poison a rat and in doing so starts the zombie outbreak. Well, it really is an outbreak because by poisoning one man’s water supply, him and his wife are turned to zombies. They, in turn, bite the mobster’s thuggish son, in turn bringing the infected amount of humans to four after the son attacks his own father while investigating his son’s status. These are not the slow-moving zombie fare. These zombies run, sprint, and handle guns.
This take on the zombie film definitely made for more interesting scenes of violence and carnage. I applaud the director, Woodell, for taking a “bite” out of a chunk of indie film-making that may have been more than the visual effects could have handled, but it did have its moments. There were countless numbers of infected zombies biting on uninfected humans, giant geysers of blood spraying outwards, reminiscent in my mind of the Shogun Assassin/Lone Wolf with Cub films of the ’70s and ’80s. I enjoyed those scenes very much. I did have a bit of a problem with the lighting of the film. Some scenes were just so dark that I could not see what the hell was going on. I really have a big problem with films that are too dark and I have to strain to see exactly what it is I am supposed to be looking at. Besides that technical gripe I had, the film was pretty decent and enjoyable for a low-budget indie flick. I have definitely seen some that were painful to watch, but this was not one of them.
The parts of the film that were the best were the blood spraying kills that used organic, or at least organic looking blood. It really looked awesome on the screen. So awesome in fact, that I was cracking up with each vicious kill. Let me tell you, this film has an incredible body count and the bodies are stacked pretty high throughout the film. Some of the visual effects done in post did not look the greatest, but they were passable. The vision of Bennie Woodall is large-scale, and the film projected that with its Western-esque cops and robbers shootouts-Zombies vs. Humans. At one point, we have children getting gunned down by assault rifles, pump shotguns, and every conceivable handgun out there.
There was some down-time and dialogue around the middle of the film that had me yawning, partly because many of the action scenes were really fun and did not take time to breathe for air. Everything the title suggested was forthright in coming to the screen. Amen to that! I also enjoyed the fact that the director chose to have some very attractive ladies as extras, as well as one acting in a major supporting role. Jake (Tony Swansey) and his girlfriend Laura (very hot!) played by Leena Kurishingal, kept the movie going with decent performances. In fact, Kurishingal gave the finest performance throughout the whole film and it is not just because of her good looks. She was the character that I believed the most with her performance. With Jake and Laura going to meet the mobsters to finish a transaction, they run into the infected town. Then its zombies vs. mankind for the rest of the movie.
The one thing that Fast Zombies With Guns does not mix very much of into the film is humor. This is a pretty straight-forward serious-toned zombie flick. There also was no sexual content nor nudity. I, personally, felt that could have catapulted the film to a higher level of satisfaction in my mind, but that is just me. But, there was some very well-shot scenes and some very good camera work. The film had a large number of edits that were very professional looking and flowed nicely. There definitely looked to be some experienced hands at work on this movie. All in all, the cast and crew can be happy with a pretty decent effort given by all involved. This was not Bennie Woodall’s first film, his first film he directed was The Chauffeur, followed by the short film Scarlett Widow, which is included on the dvd of Fast Zombies With Guns.
As far as independent films go, this is one of the better ones and worth a look at. It has action, blood, some gore, and a decent pace that keeps the viewer interested for most of the film. Fast Zombies With Guns excels in terms of pace and violence giving the viewer an enjoyable foray into the zombie genre with another very creative effort.