While the concept of Osama bin Laden rising from the dead and coming back as a zombie may seem like bad taste to most, the idea for this low-budget action-horror seemed a great idea; especially since the zombie films of late are remakes or ones without any originality. Bad taste or not, it is an original idea with the potential of being a horror film zombie fans would want to see, and early buzz from internet blogs seemed to reflect that notion.
The story follows a group of NATO soldiers in Afghanistan, hunting down the root of a zombie uprising. American civilian Dusty, a young woman out searching for her eccentric brother, Derek, a conspiracy theorist who is convinced that Osama Bin Laden is still alive and is determined to kill him, is forced to join the NATO squad when she is saved from a zombie attack. Of course it predictably turns out that Al-Qaeda are responsible, deliberately infecting Islamic insurgents with the zombie virus to create the ultimate weapon against the infidels.
Immortals’ Corey Sevier and Danielle Chuchran and Paul D. Hunt of Snow Beast makes up part of this respectful ensemble cast of this American indie film. Unfortunately, most of the interesting characters are killed off in the first part of movie and we are left with a beefy soldier that constantly finds a reason to remove his shirt, a female marksman who unrealistically wields a katana sword (clearly a standard issue weapon), and another soldier who continuously makes jokes that are neither funny or that we haven’t heard before.
Although most of the performances aren’t bad, the dialog suffers from the writer’s focus on trying to be anecdotally witty, the gore is kept mainly at a safe level, the zombies don’t seem much like a threat, there is not a character that you feel invested in, and the ending is trite and predictable.
Ultimately the movie feels like a missed opportunity and fans of the genre will be disappointed. Osombie succeeds only at being a painfully average zombie film that had the potential for being a serious scary film, but the filmmakers chose to play it safe and it leaves you unsatisfied.
This 2012 film was released direct to DVD in the UK this past May and will get its US release on blu-ray and DVD in December.
Now for the ratings…
Zombie Content: 4 – Fairly decent makeup, however, these insurgent zombies never feel evil or menacing.
Entertainment Value: 4 – Lots of insurgent zombies, but poor dialog and uninteresting characters won’t keep your attention for long.
Defense and Tactics: 3 – evasion, machine guns, pistols, katana and hand-to-hand combat, some of which is unrealistic.
Overall Rating: 11 out of 30 – Too many shortcomings to make this anything but a film you’ll want to watch when you have nothing better to do.
Directed by John Lyde
Writer: Kurt Hale
Cast: Eve Mauro, Corey Sevier, Jasen Wade, Danielle Chuchran, Paul D. Hunt and Matthew Reese
Run Time: 94 minutes
DVD Release Date: DVD, December 11, 2012