African zombie film may not bring much new to the zombie sub-genre then it’s setting but, it damn sure knows how to present the familiar trappings well. As a zombie plague ravages Africa, and the world, an American military man (Rob Freeman) trying to get home to the States and a local soldier (Prince David Oseia) searching for his son, are thrown together as they both try to make it across zombie infested country to find a way back to their families. But, the flesh eating dead are all around them and would rather see them as their next meal. The Dead may not be an original zombie film but, it knows how to deliver what we expect from one. The directing and writing team of the Ford Brothers, Howard J. and Jonathan, know how to keep things moving and how to deliver scares and suspense without skimping on the blood and gore. The characters are likable and we care about their dangerous journey, which adds strength to the story and thus the effectiveness of the horror and carnage. The vast African landscape gives a heightened sense of desolation and hopelessness as the living dead seem to be everywhere our protagonists go, making us root for them even more as their situation seems to get grimmer and grimmer the further they travel. As the two characters try to hold on to their hope, so do we hope that they’ll make it. The production value is good and the gore is top notch and seems to be live effects with no recognizable CGI in sight. The cinematography is beautiful and gives a stark contrast to the horrors going on within the exotic landscape and the original score by Imran Ahmad adds to the haunting atmosphere. Lucio Fulci meets Sergio Leone in this good old fashioned, blood spattered zombie flick! A sequel is on it’s way, this one set in India.
3 and 1/2 gory zombies!