Judge Daryl Loomis believes every blogger deserves a documentary.
It started as a documentary.
I'm not sure that there's anything we need to see less in horror than a new found footage zombie movie. There isn't anything more overplayed in the genre over recent years and it's really the last thing I wanted to see. As such, I wasn't particularly thrilled to receive The Zombinator for review but, to be fair, it does try something a little different with the well-worn subgenre. Unfortunately and somewhat ironically, though, it's that exact difference that ruins the movie.
For some reason, a film crew is shooting a documentary about an upstart fashion blogger (Lucia Brizzi) from Youngstown, Ohio. They interview her supportive parents and follow her to a party. It soon becomes clear, though, that this is not a kegger, but a wake for a fallen soldier and their appearance has made the whole thing really uncomfortable. People forget about it pretty quickly, though, when a pair of zombies crashes the party. They're soon overrun by the undead, when out of the shadows comes The Zombinator (Joseph Aviel), a dude in black with sunglasses, a shotgun, and a mission to save these kids.
Why any of this occurs, I have no idea. It seems as if writer/director Sergio Myers started writing one movie and after a little while decided to write another. But instead of starting over, he kept on writing. I guess he got bored with that one, too, because that's when the zombies show up. They're definitely a presence in the movie the rest of the way, but by the end, it's more about conspiracies and military action than anything else.
The Zombinator is all over the place, sure, but putting the zombies on the back burner much of the time was a smart move. It allows for more time with the characters and the story, and it's a budget saver, to boot. The trick is what to do with that time, and that's where the movie kills itself. Instead of being funny or dramatic, Myers instead uses the time to turn the story into a preachy political sermon about the one percent and the military industrial complex. Whether or not I agree with him on the matter, it's as annoying as it could possibly be.
While I couldn't wait for the movie to end, the beginning is pretty interesting. There's some real tension there, all the way up through the point where the zombies first appear; it just wears thin after that. With a different, less obvious title, some viewers might even be surprised that this a zombie movie at all. It has its merits, but the final act is so irritating it isn't easy to remember what those are.
The Zombinator comes to DVD from Inception in a bare-bones edition. The 1.78:1 anamorphic image is intentionally rough, but the transfer itself is fine. Black levels are murky and colors are a little off, but that's all in the documentary spirit of the movie. The stereo sound is completely standard, with very little to compliment or complain about. Dynamic Range is limited, but the dialog is always clear. There are no extras on the disc.
Despite of a decent opening and a little bit of suspense built during the first half, The Zombinator gets so unbelievably preachy it loses any ounce of credibility it might have garnered. If there's one thing you don't want to do in a zombie movie, it's forget about the zombies. If there's another, it's turning it into an awkward polemic about the rich and powerful. Those choices prove senseless, ruin all the tension, and turn this movie into something everyone can most definitely skip.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Inception Media Group
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