'Anger of the Dead': Film Review

Anger of the Dead still 2 - H 2016
Courtesy of Event Films
Hold out until new episodes of 'The Walking Dead' start airing.

Francesco Picone's horror film depicts the aftermath of — what else? — a zombie apocalypse.

Here's some free advice to the makers of the new zombie-apocalypse film Anger of the Dead: If you're going to rip off a certain mega-successful AMC television series with the same theme, at least have the courtesy to not shamelessly emulate its opening credits.

For fans of The Walking Dead who simply can't wait until its mid-season return, director Francesco Picone's zombie pic will have to do … at least for the next week or so, when another zombie pic is bound to open.

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Establishing its horrific bona fides with an opening scene in which a little girl falls victim to a brutal zombie attack, the film interweaves two plots that intersect only tangentially. The first involves a pregnant woman (Roberta Sparta) who, in the company of two men that eventually is reduced to just one (Marius Bizau) — you can probably guess how — attempts to escape to an island that has been spared the onset of the zombie plague.

The second involves a young woman (Desiree Giorgetti), being held captive by a mysterious, military-style organization, who is subjected to brutal torture, rape, and really, really bad food. When she makes a desperate escape, she's relentlessly pursued by the sort of vicious bad guy (Aaron Stielstra) who clearly enjoys his work.

Apparently lacking the budget to provide monster makeup to any part of the performers' bodies other than their faces, Anger of the Dead features the now-trendy style of zombies whose expired state doesn't prevent them from running sprints. They're certainly menacing-looking, although not menacing enough to induce their would-be victims to refrain from engaging in animated conversation while in their car with the windows open.

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Helmer Picone, adapting his own short film of the same title, delivers the sort of frenzied editing that mistakes visual incomprehension for excitement.

The film's producers are Uwe Boll, Luca Boni and Marco Ristori, whose collective credits include House of the Dead, Eaters, Apocalypse 2 and (my favorite title) Zombie Massacre 2: Reich of the Dead. You at least have to give them credit for consistency. 

Production: Event Film Distribution, Extreme Video Snc

Distributor: Uncork'd Entertainment

Cast: Aaron Stielstra, Marius Bizau, Desiree Giorgetti, Michael Segal, Roberta Sparta, David White, Claudio Camilli, Chiara Paoli

Director-screenwriter-editor: Francesco Picone

Producers: Uwe Boll, Luca Boni, Marco Ristori

Director of photography: Mirco Sgarzi

Costume designer: Roberto Conforti

Composer: Gabriele Caselli

Not rated, 84 minutes