You Won’t Re-Watch “Re-Kill”

Posted: March 7, 2016 in movies
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Re-Kill

I may have thrown in the towel in utter disgust as far as The Walking Dead is concerned (in both its television and comic-book iterations), but what can I say? I’m still a sucker for low-budget direct-to-video zombie flicks and probably always will be. I’d first heard mention of Re-Kill, which was being touted as a kind of “action movie set after the zombie apocalypse,” a few years back when it was being filmed on the cheap in Bulgaria (which is also where Steve Miner’s atrocious Day Of The Dead re-make was lensed), but that was about the last I’d given any thought to it until I saw that it was finally released in 2015 as part of After Dark Horror Fest’s 8 Films To Die For package for that year (which I already talk about like it was the distant fucking past or something). “Okay, that’s cool,” I thought, “glad to see it’s finally coming out. Maybe I’ll check it out if it ever hits Netflix.”

Which it now has. And so I did. And now I know why this thing was allowed by its financiers to sit around on the shelf and gather dust for awhile.

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The plot particulars, for those of you who absolutely must know them : five years on from a viral outbreak that decimated approximately 85% of the world’s population, the undeclared war between Re-Animates (of “Re-Ans,” as they’re more commonly known) and us humans continues unabated. Most urban centers are completely uninhabitable, but in some cities the human population has managed to re-assert control be segregating the “Re-Ans” into quarantine zones that are patrolled, and subsequently wiped out if all goes according to plan,  by units of something called the “R-Division,” an elite SWAT-style force tasked with keeping the undead in their place by any means necessary, and to — uhhmmmm — re-kill all the “Re-Ans” (the tried and true bullet through the head method being the preferred one) before they can spread their sickness back into the general population. And if all that sounds too damn dangerous for you to go out and participate in yourself, never fear! One of the “R-Division” units is strapped with cameras and is the subject of their very own “Reality TV” show!

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It doesn’t take a student of cinema history to see that the influence of  Paul Verhoeven is pretty obvious here from the outset, and the legion of online critics who have dismissed Re-Kill as being a low grade “Starship Troopers  with zombies” are, in fact, pretty much correct — right down to the fake recruiting commercials that pepper the proceedings every 15 minutes or so. It’s no mystery, then, where screenwriter Michael Hurst is “borrowing” his ideas from, but the same is also true for director Valeri Milev, who apes Verhoeven’s blend of faux-news footage, faux-shaky-cam”found footage,” and traditionally-filmed footage in very nearly the same proportion as Starship Troopers utilized them, and for essentially the same reasons. So, yeah — there really is nothing new under the sun, or in front of the cameras, here.

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As far as the cast goes, Roger R. Cross does a serviceable enough job as Sarge, the leader of our “R-Division” of particular concern, but action film veteran Bruce Payne is more or less wasted as the group’s resident religious fanatic and low-grade martial arts “star” Scott Adkins is completely wasted in a stereotypical “alpha-male” role that is afforded very little screen time and requires no martial arts combat from him whatsoever. I know certain actors want to “branch out” and “try new things,” but seriously — come on.

Which, now that I think of it, isn’t a half-bad summation of Re-Kill on the whole.

 

Comments
  1. Ryan C. (trashfilmguru) says:

    Reblogged this on Through the Shattered Lens.

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