Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Rising Dead (2007)

After a virus causes people to turn into zombies, survivors attempt to get to a military installation to hold out for a cure.  Our hero Mr. Blake was in special forces and is tasked with protecting the Presidents family, including the annoying first lady, little girl Treasure, and crippled son Gabriel.

One the way to military location, their plane crashes and splits in two.  Those who survive the crash must follow Mr. Blake and try to get to safety before the zombies kill them.

The characters aren't very bright.  The kids end up wandering off on their own, which is especially dangerous since one is crippled.  Think kids, think!  The annoying first lady wanders off and leaves Treasure alone, which makes her a particularly bad mother since it is the zombie apocalypse.  And at one point, the first lady even falls into a huge opening on the top of a building. How could she possibly miss that? Oh wait, she's not very bright.

The same zombies keep chasing them and zombie footage is repeated.  The zombies have grease paint faces, bright red blood, and there CGI head shots.  At one point Mr. Blake gets his hand cut off. There is no blood and he barely reacts.  The first lady helps him tie if off and they're back on the run - and I mean that literally.  The guy is running.

Exposition is provided via voice over that has an echo effect, and is often louder than the dialogue. So you'll be turning the volume up and down.  The zombies are also often louder than the dialogue.  There  appear to be tons of post production as there are effects on almost every scene.

Did I mention this is a Cousin Brothers Production?  Well you'll want to be aware of that.  Because  when there is a shot of the moon or a black screen to transition between scenes, you can see a ghost shadow of A Cousin Brothers Production on the screen.  Did they do that on purpose, or accidentally burn it into the film?

Also the credits betray why this production may have run off the tracks.  Here's a run down of what  Cousins was credited for:
  • producer
  • story 
  • screenplay
  • cinematographer
  • editor
  • special digital visual effects
  • prop design 
  • casting
  • location scouting
  • set design
  • audio
A one man production can give you exactly what you want your vision to be, but that's not always a good thing.  Next time you may want to involve someone you trust whose willing to provide constructive criticism.

I applaud the effort of any independent filmmaker who can actually get their movie made.  It definitely takes dedication and hard work. But that doesn't mean your movie is good.

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