Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on A Plane

Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on A Plane 2007
Director: Scott Thomas
Writers: Sidney Iwanter, Mark Onspaugh and Scott Thomas
Starring David Chisum, Kristen Kerr, Kevin J. O'Connor, Richard Tyson, Erick Avari, Derek Webster, Raymond J. Barry, Dale Midkiff and Brian Thompson

AFter the much ballyhooed Snakes on A plane (which I thought was a pretty crappy movie) came out there were many knock offs and clones of that film like Snakes on a Train, but Flight of the Living Dead is the best of these film and the one that should be remembered most fondly rather than the stunt casting of Samuel L Jackson in the Snakes film. The concept of zombies running amok on a plane you wouldn't think would have much steam, but the film really runs with it and keeps it running till the fiery end. And what a ride it is, this is just a fun movie with some nice bits of humor, some cool characters and great zombie devouring action. The film was done on a small budget but it really works wonders with it. The effects are solid and they do not overuse the CGI which is many a downfall of a good movie (I am talking about you, I Am Legend). The setup in the film is setup well and followed well throughout the entire film. It is also good that it follows the genre rules of most other zombie films, shoot them in the head and they die and if you get bitten you become one. The 2 standard rules and they stick closely to that. This came out at a time when zombies were on the rise in popularity and even virus laden films seemed to imitate the zombie form, so it was nice to see a tried and true zombie film and not something that was trying to reinvent the zombie wheel.
The plot basics are this, on a average flight from L. A. to Paris a group of renegade scientists are smuggling a container holding the sick body of a fellow scientist. She is infected with a highly infectious and deadly virus. This virus cause the dead to reanimate. At first he flight is uneventful until, the flight hits some turbulence due to a electrical storm and this causes the cryogenics in the container to malfunction and the stricken person awakens and is shot to death by a guard watching it. She does not stay dead long and soon rises and begins to munch on her assailant and anyone else who crosses her path. The scientist feel something is wrong with their cargo and all but one (Avari) goes to check it out and they are attacked. Soon, the plane becomes overrun by the infected and it is now a race for survival for the few remaining living. It all comes down to a con man (O'Connor), a FBI agent who is entrusted with him (Chisum), a Air Marshall (Tyson), a stewardess (Kerr) and a professional golfer (Webster) are all that stand in the way of the zombies and the rest of humanity. They must find a way to stop them before the plane crashes into a populated area.
This is a great little zombie film. The direction by Thomas is solid. The movie actually starts out as if it is a comedy but soon it spirals into a zombie film and he does that deftly. I love the way he sets up the zombie attacks, one of my favorite scenes is when the one girl gets pulled through the mirror in the restroom. He makes you think the attack will be coming from somewhere else but surprises you with the final assault. The script is solid as well. There is a lot of great character throughout the entire film. My favorites being Long shot, the golfer, Paul Judd the air Marshall and Frank the con artist. They all have great character arcs with my favorite being Frank, he as all the best lines and steals every scene he is in. The cast does a great job as well. O'Connor is the standout performance. He is sarcastic and very funny throughout the entire film. It was also nice to see Tyson again as I have not seen him in anything since he played the heavy in Kindergarten Cop and he does a great job here. Webster as the golfer is great too with some great one liners and he really brings forth the action quotient too. The SFX and effects are done very well. They use a lot of CGI, but it never seems to much or too fake. The blood flows copiously and I especially loved when the one zombie got thrown through the plane's engine, that was some brutal stuff. For any fan of zombie cinema this is one that is well worth seeking out and I think one of the better zombie films in the last few years.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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