A scientist is transporting the body of a colleague, infected with a modified virus, by canister in the cargo hold of an airplane. When the plane hits turbulence, the canister opens and the woman comes out very much alive. Alive, until she is gunned down by a guard. Unfortunately for him, and the rest of the plane she returns as a zombie and the carnage begins.
This movie should have been crap. Look at Snakes on a Plane. It got all the press on the Internet and still turned out to be underwhelming. If the highly anticipated Snakes on a Plane could not earn the good will of movie goers, what chance does this movie have?
Its only U.S. release was in festivals and this DVD will be the first chance many people have to see it. Well, along with Wrong Turn 2 – Dead End, it appears that the DTD market might be beginning to put out some quality genre flicks. The great thing about this movie (and Wrong Turn 2) is that while the movies are turning out solid, they are still full of the same mindless fun you have come to expect from DTD movies.
A group of passengers are aboard a plane heading to Paris and we spend the first thirty minutes of the film meeting them. During this time we get what I can only describe as a combination of the horror genre and the ‘70s style disaster movie (think Zero Hour or Airplane!). We get the people that you expect to die in a horror movie. There are a couple of guys on vacation with their girlfriends, who really can’t stand each other. We have the professional athlete and his wife who hates any attention her husband receives and a scientist who is transporting the virus infected woman. From the disaster genre, we get many typical characters as well. There is a U.S. Marshall. There is the police officer who is transporting a prisoner he is handcuffed to. There is the pilot on his last flight before his retirement. With this mixture of genre staples, we have so many ripe victims for the zombies to eat.
We then are given half an hour to get to know these people before anything major happens. In many recent horror movies this has either not existed or been dealt with in the most boring way possible. In this movie, it is very well done, moving amongst the characters quickly so you get all the information you need about them and then leaving before you get bored. Meanwhile, you also cut to the actual bad guys and see the beginning of the zombie outbreak.
After all the character development, we are ready for some zombie carnage and we are not disappointed. Within minutes of the initial zombie outbreak happening, numerous characters are mauled and killed by the zombies. Numerous kills occur rapid fire, as a girl is yanked through a mirror in the bathroom, another is pulled through the floor and many more just get eaten. The zombie deaths are pretty cool as well with the best early kill being a zombie having its head whacked off with a golf club.
Then you get what you came to see – a group of individuals on the run from hoards of killer zombies. These zombies move very quickly and are almost a mixture of 28 Days Later and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. There are a number of good kills, the gore and special effects are well done, and for a low budget film it looks very solid. When looking at this film I understood up front that it was not a big budget film and went in accordingly. That is why I was so impressed. What director Scott Thomas pulled off with what he was given was just great and very inspiring. There were a lot of really fun shots as well. The direction was top notch, although there were some small continuity errors.
There are problems with the story. There are so many gun shots and explosions on the plane, that it should in no way have survived the flight as long as it did. The plane was on its way to Paris and then turned back towards Canada, who said they would refuse to allow it back in. At the end, it ended up in Vegas. I guess my geography is all messed up. But these problems should be easy to ignore because there is one reason to watch this movie. You are here for zombies, blood and gore and you get all three in spades with a lot of humor added to boot.
If you are a horror genre fan who enjoys seeing things like a nun getting her feet ripped off, an Asian zombie stuck in a seatbelt while unable to eat anything and a zombie with only a torso and head, dragging itself along with his hands, this movie is for you.
There are two commentary tracks. The first commentary track is with the director and producer who gives us lots of interesting anecdotes as well as technical information on how this movie achieved its various effects. The track is very entertaining although there are lots of moments of silence, which I would not expect with two people bouncing ideas off each other. The second track is with IGN.com editors. This is also a pretty entertaining track, as they throw out all the movies that this movie borrows from. They mention Fight Club, X-Men, Outbreak and 12 Monkeys in the opening credits alone. They then go into quoting lines from Airplane!. It also seems like they didn’t know anything about the movie before they recorded the commentary track and looked things up on IMDb as they tried to figure out who the actors were. I would pay anything to hear Nick, Devin and Jeremy doing a DVD commentary track over some genre flick. This was extremely entertaining in its own right though. Just hearing them mention Van Helsing and then having one of them refer to it as Van Shitsing lets you know what you can expect from this track. The two commentary tracks add to the rating of the DVD.
There are also bloopers and trailers. The cover is alright, but not very inspiring. There are both a DTS and a Dolby track and they are serviceable. The video is presented in 1.85:1 and I have no problems with it either.