Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bird Flu Zombies

Beast Within 2008
Directors: Wolf Wolf and Ohmuthi
Writer: Wolf Jahnke
Starring Anna Breuer, Phillip Danne, Marvin Gronen, Thomas Heubeck, Jesse Inman, Nikolas Jurgens, Joost Siedhoff and Birthe Wolter

This is yet another entry into the ever burgeoning zombie genre with some modern health scare terror in it thanks to the avian flu. This makes the film seem more potent than it normally would be, combining a zombie outbreak with the bird flu. It is kind of surprising no one had thought to combine these two disparate devices and make a new kind of horror. It comes together well in this film and the way the film plays out it has elements of both Night of the Living Dead and John Carpenter's The Thing. It works really well. The bleakness of the film is another great part about this film. There is never any feeling that anything that happens in the film is going to end well and that is refreshing. It is nice to see a horror film that is unrepentantly dark and with totally unsympathetic characters that you cannot wait to see die horribly. I wish we got more American made horror films like this.
The plot basics are this, a professor discovers a new strain of avian flu that when it infects humans they become ravenous zombies. He is attacked and killed and not long after a group of twenty something's looking to have a good time, arrive at his home where his grandson (Danne) is going to sign some papers to take over the home. It has been a long time since he has been there and he does not seem very welcome by the local authorities. Soon, many people get infected with this zombie strain of bird flu and now they are all fighting for their lives. But, there is infighting between the group and this leads ultimately to their doom and it looks as if this zombie virus will spread worldwide.
This was a damn good film. The direction is very good, unlike most modern zombie films it is filmed as a movie and not as some viral video, which seems to be the norm these days. It is very classic in its style. The direction really plays well within the style of the classic zombie siege film. The movement of the zombies and their attack styles are fun and exciting to view. The script is quite good too, I loved the conceit of a avian flu variation that creates zombies. The characters were interesting too. I especially liked Patrick, he was hysterically paranoid and that made him a delight to watch as his psyche unraveled. The cast was good too, with a special nod to Gronen as Patrick, he really relished his part and was by far the best actor in the film. The SFX and effects are great too, they never look too fake and always bring out the desired effect in the viewer. This was definitely one of the better zombie films that I have seen recently and well worth a look for zombie fans.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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