Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Zombie Army (Saturn’s Core Releasing) Blu-ray Review

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • The Zombie Army (Saturn’s Core Releasing) Blu-ray Review

    Click image for larger version  Name:	cover.jpg Views:	1 Size:	31.6 KB ID:	428325

    Released by: Saturn’s Core Releasing
    Released on: March 26th, 2024.
    Director: Betty Stapleford
    Cast: Cindie Lou Acker, Jack Armstrong, Kevin Wiggins, Natalie Kidd
    Year: 1991
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Zombie Army – Movie Review:

    An enjoyable and entertaining no-budget Day Of The Dead-style military-themed zombie movie, 1991’s The Zombie Army was directed by high school drama teacher named Betty Stapleford and shot in and around Wilmington, Delaware and at an actual abandoned mental hospital somewhere in Pennsylvania.

    The story revolves around a facility that was once used as an insane asylum but is being taken over by an all-female Special Forces unit referred to as The Lethal Ladies who, with the blessing of the United States government, plan to use it as a training facility. What The Lethal Ladies don’t know is that when the asylum was abandoned, two of the facility’s patients that were locked away underground in a fallout shelter were left behind. The male patient, Jim, is deranged enough that he believes himself to be a psychiatrist rather than a patient and he’s also addicted to shock treatment, while the female, Mary, patient is a straight up sex-addicted nymphomaniac.

    It turns out that Jim also has the ability to resurrect the dead, so when he and Mary start coercing soldiers into going into less travelled areas of the asylum, they’re able to kill them and then bring them back as zombies. These zombies act as slaves of a sort and bring Jim more victims, until he’s basically got the zombie army that the movie is named after.

    Those in charge seem only mildly concerned when a few soldiers disappear but after a search party is sent into the bowels of the asylum and doesn’t return, they finally wise up to the fact that something strange is going on, well, they send in another search party only to get the same result. Oops! At this point, The Lethal Ladies themselves are prepped for combat detail and sent deep into the facility to solve the problem by whatever means necessary.

    Written, produced and maybe also partially directed by a former military man named John Kalinowski, The Zombie Army wins bonus points for really doing a good job of exploiting the abandoned mental hospital where much of the movie takes place. Sure, it’s a no-budget SOV movie but there’s some real ambition on display here and some creative filmmaking at work – and on top of that, we get some quality gore set pieces and even some unexpected nudity throughout the film! The plot might get a little sloppy in spots and it’s obvious that the acting is handled by a cast of amateurs but fans of nineties SOV splatter epics will find a lot to like here. There’s a quirky sense of humor that runs through the movie and the cinematography and lighting is a lot better than you’re probably expecting it to be, even if the low fi nature of the format it was shot on sometimes obscures this.

    Overall though, this is fun. It isn’t always especially original but it moves at a nice, quick pace and features a pretty great soundtrack from a band called The Killtoys. It may not reinvent the wheel, but The Zombie Army does provide seventy-nine minutes of quality, schlock-filled entertainment.

    The Zombie Army – Blu-ray Review:

    The Zombie Army arrives on a region free 50GB disc in an AVC encoded 1080i high definition transfer framed at 1.33.1. Given the movie’s low budget shot on tape origins, this transfer looks about as good as it probably can. Compression is pretty decent here but detail is limited by the source material. Some of the darker scenes are a tad too dark, but this almost certainly stems back to the way that the movie was lit and shot rather than the transfer itself. Colors look decent enough. This is perfectly watchable by the standards of low budget SOV movies.

    The 16-bit English language DTS-HD 2.0 mix, which comes with optional English subtitles, is decent enough given the movie’s low budget roots. Dialogue is generally pretty easy to understand, though there are a few spots where the subtitles come in handy as some scenes are a tad muffled. For the most part, however, the track is well-balanced and clean enough to work.

    Extras start off with an audio commentary with Richard Mogg, Author of ‘Analog Nightmares: The Shot On Video Horror Films of 1982-1995.’ With plenty of enthusiasm and a good sense of humor, Moog covers the good and the bad, some of the logic gaps that are apparent in the story, the quality of the cinematography in certain scenes, thoughts on the cast that worked on the picture, the different locations that are used for the movie, the obvious love and passion for horror movies on display, how John Kalinowski came to make the movie and get access to the location, the advertising and promotional campaign that was used to promote the original release, the movie's release history, influences that worked their way into the movie, the use of live ammunition on set and lots more. It’s a fun and informative talk worth listening to.

    Incubators Of Death: The Asylum In Horror Cinema is a new visual essay by Dr. Will Dodson and Ryan Verrill of Someone's Favorite Productions. This fifteen minute piece covers how asylums have been used in various horror films, from Psycho to The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari to Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell, and also in pop culture in general and how psychiatric treatment changed the asylum programs across the country.

    Analog Outlaw - Distributor/Filmmaker J.R. Bookwalter Discusses The Zombie Army is a new interview that runs seventeen minutes. In this piece, Bookwalter talks about how he came to become a distributor with his company Video Outlaw and how he came to handle the movie's release on VHS, some of the lessons that he learned along the way during this part of his career, the differences between his Tempe and Video Outlaw labels, capitalizing on the home video market, the importance of Alternative Cinema magazine at the time, promoting the movie and more.

    The disc also includes three episodes of 'The Video Makers, ' a public access show hosted by writer / producer John Kalinowski. There's fifty-two minutes of content here, including interview with a few actresses involved with W.A.V.E. Productions, interviews with Gary Whitson and Aven Warren from W.A.V.E. Productions and Dave Castiloni. It's an interesting time capsule of sorts as the interviews go over techniques, equipment, casting and tricks and tactics to making low budget SOV movies.

    Finishing things off is a two minute archival contest video, a selection of eleven minutes of isolated music by The Killtoys, an original trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection options. This release also comes with some reversible cover sleeve art.

    The Zombie Army - The Final Word:

    The Zombie Army is a lot more ambitious than you’d probably expect from an SOV movie and if it isn’t the most original story ever told, it still offers up a pretty entertaining mix of gore, sleaze and weirdness that makes for a really entertaining watch. The Blu-ray from Saturn’s Core Releasing looks and sounds as good as it probably can and it features some solid extra features as well. Recommended for fans of SOV splatter films!



    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized The Zombie Army Blu-ray screen caps!

    Click image for larger version  Name:	1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	133.5 KB ID:	428327

    Click image for larger version  Name:	2.jpg Views:	1 Size:	178.4 KB ID:	428331

    Click image for larger version  Name:	3.jpg Views:	1 Size:	163.5 KB ID:	428336

    Click image for larger version  Name:	4.jpg Views:	1 Size:	196.0 KB ID:	428340

    Click image for larger version  Name:	5.jpg Views:	1 Size:	125.4 KB ID:	428326

    Click image for larger version  Name:	6.jpg Views:	1 Size:	141.2 KB ID:	428328

    Click image for larger version  Name:	7.jpg Views:	1 Size:	78.6 KB ID:	428332

    Click image for larger version  Name:	8.jpg Views:	1 Size:	157.0 KB ID:	428339

    Click image for larger version  Name:	9.jpg Views:	1 Size:	96.1 KB ID:	428333

    Click image for larger version  Name:	10.jpg Views:	1 Size:	116.8 KB ID:	428334

    Click image for larger version  Name:	11.jpg Views:	1 Size:	128.0 KB ID:	428330

    Click image for larger version  Name:	12.jpg Views:	1 Size:	194.1 KB ID:	428337

    Click image for larger version  Name:	13.jpg Views:	1 Size:	174.3 KB ID:	428338

    Click image for larger version  Name:	14.jpg Views:	1 Size:	138.5 KB ID:	428335

    Click image for larger version  Name:	15.jpg Views:	1 Size:	164.5 KB ID:	428329
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • God’s Gun (Kino Lorber) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Kino Lorber
      Released on: February 22nd, 2022.
      Director: Gianfranco Parolini
      Cast: Lee Van Cleef, Jack Palance
      Year: 1976
      Purchase From Amazon

      God’s Gun – Movie Review:

      Directed by Gianfranco Parolini in 1976, quite late in the spaghetti western boom years, God's Gun (Diamante Lobo in Italy) introduces us to a bad, bad man named Sam Clayton (Jack Palance) who, along with his gang of equally bad, bad men, start wreaking
      ...
      04-17-2024, 12:10 PM
    • Hercules In The Haunted World (Kino Lorber) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Kino Lorber
      Released on: October 8th, 2019.
      Director: Mario Bava
      Cast: Christopher Lee, Reg Park, Leonora Ruffo, Gaia Germani
      Year: 1968
      Purchase From Amazon

      Hercules In The Haunted World – Movie Review:

      Directed by Mario Bava in 1961 and featuring a screenplay by Bava (and Sandro Continenza, Francesco Prosperi and Duccio Tessari), Hercules In The Haunted World (also known as Hercules At The Center Of The Earth and
      ...
      04-17-2024, 12:08 PM
    • Goin’ South (Cinématographe) UHD/Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Cinématographe
      Released on: March 26th, 2024.
      Director: Jack Nicholson
      Cast: Jack Nicholson, Mary Steenburgen, Christopher Lloyd, John Belushi
      Year: 1978
      Purchase From Amazon

      Goin’ South – Movie Review:

      Made at the height of his career as an actor, 1978’s ‘Goin’ South’ sees Jack Nicholson once again in the director’s chair, seven years after his directorial debut, ‘Drive, He Said,’ failed to set the
      ...
      04-17-2024, 10:29 AM
    • The Shape Of Night (Radiance Films) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Radiance Films
      Released on: April 20th, 2024.
      Director: Noburo Nakamura
      Cast: Miyuki Kuwano, Mikijiro Hira
      Year: 1964
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Shape Of Night – Movie Review:

      Directed by Noburo Nakamura for Shochiko in 1964, ‘The Shape Of Night’ follows a young woman named Yoshie Nomoto (Miyuki Kuwano). In the opening scene, she’s working as a streetwalker on the outskirts of town and soon enough, she’s picked
      ...
      04-17-2024, 10:26 AM
    • Tormented (Film Masters) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Film Masters
      Released on: April 23rd, 2024.
      Director: Bert I. Gordon
      Cast: Richard Carlson, Juli Reding, Lugene Sanders, Susan Gordon
      Year: 1963
      Purchase From Amazon

      Tormented – Movie Review:

      The late Bert I. Gordon’s 1963 horror film, ‘Tormented,’ is an effectively spooky ghost story made with an obviously low budget but no less effective for it.

      The story revolves around a professional piano player
      ...
      04-17-2024, 10:19 AM
    • Impulse (Grindhouse Releasing) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Grindhouse Releasing
      Released on: March 12th, 2024.
      Director: William Grefé
      Cast: William Shatner, Jennifer Bishop, Ruth Roman, Harold Sakata
      Year: 1974
      Purchase From Amazon

      Impulse – Movie Review:

      Directed by the one and only William Grefé, 1974’s Impulse is one of those rare films that allows you to witness what it would be like if a really sweaty William Shatner got mad at a lady carrying balloons. Before that
      ...
      04-15-2024, 01:20 PM
    Working...
    X