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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dead Men Walking - movie review

David Brown

Dead Men Walking is a 2005 movie from the movie studio The Asylum. The movie clocks in at 82 minutes. The Asylum is a studio that became famous for taking high budget, mainstream movies like Transformers and Paranormal Activity, and turning out their own versions such as Transmorphers and Paranormal Entity. As far as the studio has been to me, they essentially take a big budget movie and really strip the heck out of everything, particularly special effects. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that a lack of special effects is a bad thing, but you will understand better once I begin to explain.

I have never had much faith in The Asylum, but for the sake of this review I wanted to forget about all of their past mistakes, and give them a chance to wow me again. This movie is about a zombie outbreak that occurs at a maximum security prison once a prison is brought in already infected with a mysterious biological disease. From here many of the prisoners and guards become infected and the remaining survivors must band together to get out alive. I honestly wish that i could give more information than that, but as far as this movie goes it definitely isn’t plot heavy.

The problems in this movie come into light right from the start, the story is as paper thin as they come, and barely does enough to give us a reason to have zombies in this film. The next thing we look for as a saving grace is serviceable acting, not well known actors necessary, but at least competent. The problem here is that it feels like the actors have phoned in lines or not read the script at all, a suspicion that was confirmed while watching a behind the scenes documentary where the director and actors admitted not reading the scripts before starting.

The makeup effects do at least serve their purpose, and show you where the budget went when the movie was produced. they aren’t the best, but seem realistic enough when put with the storyline. When researching online I found that this was the first movie that The Asylum created that was shot fully digitized. This leads to a movie that looks a lot better than ones before it, but also creates many problems. First and foremost you are taken out of the experience when guns are fired without kickback or explosions. There are also several scenes where the amount of force present are contradicting to one another, sometimes a gun at close range will blow off part of a face, other times the same gun at the same distance will just leave a mark.

I know that I come across with a lot of complaints. Many have argued that this is a good movie shot in the form of a b-movie. I counter with the fact that the director is trying very hard to make a serious movie without the intention of a b-movie. This is just a movie with bad effects, bad acting, and a paper thin story, none of this happened intentionally as would in a b-movie. If you are a fan I would say see this just to say you have, but otherwise I would caution you to come near this. Maybe it was just me, but like the zombies in this movie, everything about this film is toxic to be near and toxic to the touch.

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