I want to give “Re-Kill” (2015) more than a 5 out of 10 rating. I do. It’s an ambitious post-apocalyptic independent zombie film that earnestly and unpretentiously tries to give fans of the subgenre everything they’re asking for: great action, decent makeup effects, gore, good scares and lots of creative world-building, all culminating in a nifty little sci-fi subplot that isn’t stupid and isn’t too forced.
There’s a wealth of fun ideas here — the original story was obviously developed by people with a love for zombie tales. We follow a “COPS”-style reality-TV program documenting a”Re-Kill” unit, a squad of specially trained commandos who repel brushfire outbreaks during a global, stalemated war between the living and the dead. They “rekill” the “re-ans,” this universe’s slang for re-animated dead.
We see the entire program, complete with commercials from this fictional world: PSA’s to encourage people to have sex (in order to repopulate the world), and drug companies opportunistically pushing drugs for PTSD and depression. My favorite was an ad for a Desert Eagle sidearm marketed to protective mothers, “for the children.” We get wicked-cool peeks into a fairly detailed fictional world, including the activities of the police, the military, the media and civilians.
This would have made a fine book series, in the manner of Max Brooks’ “World War Z.” Or it would make a terrific TV series … like a far faster paced and more expansive equivalent of “The Walking Dead.”
Tragically, though, this movie’s execution is too often lacking. The acting is sometimes poor (but not from the always awesome Roger Cross, who you and I know as Curtis Manning from “24.”) The script has problems. And worst of all is the absolutely unnecessary shaky-cam directing. This movie could have been a fantastic action-horror flick … if only we were able to see the action a little better. The style of shooting here was a disastrous creative decision.
Oh, well. It’s still a fun watch for hardcore zombie fans.