EXIT HUMANITY (Anchor Bay, 2011) D: John Geddes, w/ Mark Gibson, Dee Wallace. Rating: NNN; Blu-ray package: NNNN Rating: NNN
I've been saying this for years: the zombie movie is the new western, a sturdy, flexible form into which you can pour any content you want.
Writer/director John Geddes fills his walking dead epic with an actual western and uses it to explore questions of hope and despair.
Traumatized Civil War vet Edward Young (Mark Gibson) loses his wife and son to the zombies, then reluctantly gets involved in a stranger's quest to rescue a young woman (Jordan Hayes) from the villainous General Williams (Bill Moseley), who's building an army to establish law and order.
This leads our heroes to Eve (Dee Wallace), a hermit with secret knowledge about the zombie apocalypse.
Strong performances and story outweigh Exit Humanity's few low-budget flaws - notably unconvincing zombies and weak action. Some lively animation sequences and the wonderful voice of Brian Cox reading Edward's journal enhance the proceedings and the film's fairy tale flavour.
You can hear the bitterness in the voices of Geddes and producers Jesse Cook and Matt Wiele when they wade into the despair and physical and emotional pain attendant on their microbudget project.
Their commentary should be required listening for aspiring filmmakers.
EXTRAS Director and cast commentary, director and producer commentary, making-of doc. English audio. French subtitles.