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Jason Widgington [Celluloid 10.19.16] post apocalyptic zombies horror action

Depending on how you look at it, director Steve Barker's The Rezort can be deemed pretty cool or somewhat disappointing, but I'm here to tell you that it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. Being a huge fan of Barker's Nazi zombie flick Outpost and its sequel Outpost: Black Sun, I had high hopes for this one, and I wasn’t let down...too much.

The Rezort has a very promising premise, but it’s never used to its full potential, and the film quickly devolves into your run-of-the-mill – albeit hugely entertaining - zombie/action thriller.

The film starts with a nifty bit of exposition, in the form of news footage, where we learn that it’s been about ten years since a zombie outbreak resulted in the death of two billion people before humanity successfully defeated the walking dead in what’s been dubbed the Zombie War. Society has since picked up the pieces and normal life has resumed, but what’s left of the zombies have been corralled at an island resort where people can pay to come and enjoy the sun, sand, and a little bit of zombie-killing action.

Melanie (Jessica De Gouw) somewhat reluctantly goes to the “rezort” with her zombie-war veteran boyfriend in an attempt to finally cope with the death of her father during the outbreak. Unfortunately for her, her safari group includes a couple of teenage knuckleheads, a mysterious but alarmingly accurate gunman (Dougray Scott), and an activist who believes that zombie lives matter.

When a little bit of computer sabotage by one of the guests shuts down the resort’s security systems, the dead are set free and havoc ensues, leaving our heroes to fight the hordes in an attempt to get off the island before it’s blown out of existence by the last ditch fail-safe, the Brimstone Protocol.

With a few exceptions – think Train to Busan (review) for its wonderful simplicity and frenetic pace or 28 Days Later for its bold re-imagining of zombie behavior - nobody’s going to argue that any recent zombie movies can be considered original masterworks or instant classics; to coin a phrase from Neil Young about his own musical oeuvre, at this point “it’s all the same song”.

The Rezort had the potential to be groundbreaking, with its socio-political undercurrents and thinly-veiled depiction of the Syrian refugee crisis. But these elements were only hinted at in writer Paul Gerstenberger’s script, or at least in the finished film, which too quickly becomes standard headshot zombie-killing mayhem.

Having said that, the film is well-made, decently acted, and has some satisfyingly gruesome kill scenes. The special effects are top notch, too. And the ending is nothing if not spectacularly bleak. It’s just a shame that the opportunity was there to make a big statement while being entertaining enough to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, and somehow only one of the two prevailed.

Perhaps what’s needed is, like Michael Crichton’s Westworld, a more fully fleshed out cable television series instead of a movie. I know I would watch it.

Recommended Release: Re-Kill

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col34 (5 years ago) Reply

Not much made of Dougray Scott in the trailer, talk about a dud career! His films sell about 1,000 DVDs in the UK so that does not bode well for this one...


Highlandfool (5 years ago) Reply

"Jurassic Park" meets the video game "Dead Island". Looks fun!

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