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The Dead

Year: 2010
Production Co: Indelible Productions
Director: Howard J Ford
Producer: Howard J Ford
Writer: Howard J Ford/Jonathan Ford
Cast: Rob Freeman/Prince David Oseia

Another day, another zombie movie. Whether I read into it too much or not, I got the impression this Africa-set production referenced the massacres in Rwanda. Maybe the production was a social comment on it like Romero's zombie canon has been on everything from Vietnam to blind consumerism, or maybe the concept of Africans killing and consuming each other wasn't as literal.

Unlike many other takes on flesh-eating undead mythology, it goes the traditional route of having slow moving zombies shuffle blindly toward their victims. The problem is that the film is much the same – shuffling and shambling at a pace that's too slow to really be effective.

Even though shots of farmers and rural African undead walking slowly towards the living characters from across desert landscapes are evocative, there are too many of them and the scenes in between take too long to play out.

It also suffers from the same problem a lot of American movies have (Thor comes to mind) when they depict classical characters, where every word sounds like an oratory from a great statesman. The dialogue is long and ponderous and while the setting and (some of the) action is appropriately gritty, the dialogue needed the same quality.

Daniel is an African soldier, Brian an American mercenary. Both find themselves in the midst of chaos when the zombie plague breaks out, and the movie takes its time telling us who they are as well as having them team up to try and reach the coast, where they hope some sort of escape or redemption awaits them.

There's a decent amount of claret-splashing, just not enough colour and movement to really work as a horror movie or thriller.

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