'Zombie Hunter' Review: Grindhouse Attempt Falls on Its Bloody Face
Zombie Hunter could have been a fun grindhouse like movie with Danny Trejo killing zombies and giving mean looks to the camera. Instead it seems straight from the mind of a 15 year old that has no idea how to make a movie or be original.
Let me start by saying that if you're a Trejo fan then just forget this movie exists. He's in it for about ten minutes, and it's almost embarrassing what they do to him. The movie actually follows another character that is the zombie hunter from the title. He's a guy with a hairdo straight from an L.A. hair salon that has used the zombie apocalypse as an excuse to drive around and do his best Mad Max impression.
Speaking of Mad Max, let's talk about how Zombie Hunter (out now on Blu-ray) doesn't quite know the difference between an homage and just plain copying. There are so many sequences in this flick that had me rolling my eyes once I realized what movie they were ripping off. Had these been actual homages, I would have been smiling at how clever the spin the filmmakers made on the material was.
There's no point in going over the story for Zombie Hunter because I've already explained most of it. A guy drives around doing a Mad Max impression, Trejo shows up for ten minutes. Besides that, there's a group of survivors forced to do some pretty stupid things and throw out some pretty stupid lines.
The screenwriting is so bad and obvious that it's hard to tell whether the makers are going for parody or are actually being serious. It would have been easier to tell the tone of this movie if the direction had been different. The film clearly has the potential to be a throwback to '70s genre films, but the style is just plain weird. Instead of a shaky screen and slick close ups we get constant color saturation over the whole screen going blue, purple, rainbow, whatever the director can think of. It's a strange choice and is overused big time.
Bad writing, bad acting, bad directing, bad special effects ... I can't recommend Zombie Hunter to anyone really. Not zombie fans, horror fans, Trejo fans ... no one.
All right. Now that I got the negative out of my system, here's the positive: Zombie Hunter is clearly made by fimmakers that have a deep love for the movies they are mimicking. They love zombies, anti-heroes, '70s car flicks, etc. They have the passion, but this is the wrong project. The passion gets lost in the generic nature of the story and the blandness of the characters. At the end of the day, Zombie Hunter is a noble effort that fails on almost all levels.