E1 Entertainment // 2012 // 87 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Alice Nelson // April 19th, 2013
How many zombies does it take to terrorize college kids? I'm sure just one would do the trick.
Six med students are doing their forensics field training on an abandoned island that once housed a penitentiary. Secret experiments were conducted on some of the prisoners, resulting in big strong homicidal zombies. The students and their professor are completely unaware of this, until they start to become chew toys for these walking dead criminals.
There's certainly no shortage of zombie movies. Throw a rock and you're bound to hit one in production somewhere. Do we really need another? Of course not, but when a good one surfaces, it should be acknowledged. 13 Eerie is far better than advertised.
From writer Christian Piers Betley and director Lowell Dean, 13 Eerie is a concise 87-minute experience that doesn't use a horde of lumbering living dead, but three very fast and calculating beasts that set traps to snare their victims. In nearly every other zombie flick, the monsters are slow moving masses, and only through sheer numbers are they able to catch their prey. Here Skinhead Zombie, Tattoo Zombie, and Thug Zombie must've been doing some serious afterlife cross-training, because they are scary fast, bearing down on these out matched co-eds.
13 Eerie is headed by a cast of relative Canadian unknowns who turn in surprisingly solid performances. The most recognizable name is Michaels Shanks (Stargate SG-1) who plays the humorless Professor Tomkins. He's joined by Katherine Isabell (Insomnia) as the overachieving Megan; Brendan Fehr (X-Men: First Class) as Megan's boyfriend Daniel; English actor Nick Moran (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1) as the hired cook whose hillbilly dialect is very convincing; and Josh (Brendan Fletcher, Freddy vs. Jason), the comic relief. Jessie Moss (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil) and Kristie Patterson portray Patrick and Kate, but are little more than two red shirts dispatched soon after we are introduced to our zombie friends. Some may view this as a spoiler, but I know dear reader that you are smart and would have figured this quickly.
13 Eerie does the best it can with a minimal budget and 20-day shooting schedule, which means they had to get creative to make a dollar go farther, and maximize the use of their time. One such choice was to use two handheld cameras instead of the standard dolly track, which made setting up the shots faster and less expensive. This is done so well you can't even tell handhelds were used. The movie is complete free of that herky-jerky look so often associated with found footage films.
I cannot complete this review without mentioning one of the most effective zombie kills I've ever seen. If you're ever in a jam and need to rid yourself of the living dead, saw off the head of said zombie until it's hanging by a thread. When it tries to reach up and grab you, place explosives in the cavity and ka-boom! Just like that your zombie problems are over.
Presented in standard def 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, E1 Entertainment offers up an impressive DVD transfer, bolstered by a crystal clear Dolby 5.1 audio track that accentuates Igor Vrabac and Ken Worth's throbbingly intense score. Bonus features include an audio commentary from director Lowell Dean, four behind the scenes feaurettes, and a photo gallery.
13 Eerie is a respectable entry into the zombie genre. If you find this one in the discount bin, snatch it up before it snatches you!
Review content copyright © 2013 Alice Nelson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: E1 Entertainment
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Image Gallery
* Facebook Page