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Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard

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    Scyther
    Senior Member

  • Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard



    Released by: Anchor Bay
    Released on: February 3rd, 2015
    Director: Harrison Smith
    Cast: Mischa Barton, Dee Wallace, Billy Zane
    Year: 2015
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie

    Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard is the latest in what should probably be considered the "zombie flicks created in the wake of The Walking Dead" sub-sub genre, a film where the main focus is centered primarily upon the interpersonal relations and stories behind the cast of human survivors, as opposed to the roving zombie hordes which lurk off in the distance.

    Director and co-writer Harrison Marks helms a film where most of the main story takes place in a small, isolated town, where a paintball gear toting militia squad do their best to keep borders clear of the zombie horde, while the rest of the population eke out an existence under the leadership of the darkly charismatic "Doc" and his crew. Odd title aside, Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard is primarily a story of people and their struggles to cope with their situation, whether it being turning to a higher power or the temptation that power brings to those who already deal with sociopathic tendencies.

    The town of Elwood has been severely damaged by the process of hydraulic fracturing-also known as "fracking"-and its population is equally fractured with regards to how they treat each other, with one particular subplot dealing with Mischa Barton's character of "Toni," her marriage to an older man and the identity of her unborn baby's father. Elsewhere, Dee Wallace and Billy Zane round up the film's primary star power, although their characters generally take a back seat to the younger cast with regards to story arc and presence.

    There actually aren't that many zombies to speak of here in Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard, although when they do show up the special effects are a respectable mixture of practical make-up and CGI. The make-up itself is serviceable, but won't win any awards, while the CGI segments are noticeably distracting, particularly when it comes to a couple of "nature attacks" sequences during the film's second act.

    Zane and Wallace, predictably enough, turn in the strongest and most memorable performances here, while the rest of the cast range from slightly below average to campy and just plain poor. Charlie Anderson's cinematography doesn't go over the top with anything particularly memorable apart from some nice aerial views, but moves the plot along at a sufficient pace, while the (mostly) twangy and dusty score amps up the "High Noon in the Zombie Apocalypse" vibe for which the film seems to be shooting at times.

    The final act here does ramp up the tension a bit, as Elwood becomes a dead center target for a massive swath of undead foes, yet it all seems a little forced as all of the various subplots here are wrapped up as quickly as possible, until the film wraps up with an ending which leaves plenty of room for a sequel.

    Audio/Video/Extras

    Anchor Bay's Blu-Ray of Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard arrives in an AVC encoded Blu-Ray with a 1080p 2.35:1 widescreen print. Colors from this digitally shot production are crisp and nicely saturated, while the Dolby 5.1 TrueHD audio is a bit unbalanced with regards to the musical score-which is a bit loud at times, and threatens to overcome the dialog-but clear overall. Spanish and English subs are also included.

    The extras here include three featurettes, the first of which consists of some glowing interviews and behind the scenes footage from the folks at the Bloodbath and Beyond YouTube channel. There's also another behind the scenes featurette which features short blurbs from the main cast, as well as a special FX featurette which details the make-up work and zombie action sequences. These extras actually shine a cool light behind the film's production, and paint everyone involved as a bunch of close knit folks who truly seem to enjoy what they're doing, and the company they keep while doing it.

    The Final Word

    Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard can't really be recommended for anyone other than the extremely tolerant zombie movie enthusiast. The film is trying for the viewer to finish, and focuses too much on stock characters without adding enough real energy and "life" to the proceedings. That being said, it's nice to see Billy Zane and Dee Wallace working, but their talents are probably better left to movies with more originality and spirit.


    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




















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