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Sunday, May 4, 2014

THE ZOMBINATOR -- DVD review by porfle

If you found a big barrel full of "found footage" movies, dumped it out, and then scraped the bottom, you'd end up with something bearing a close resemblance to THE ZOMBINATOR (2012). 

One of the most basic necessities for this kind of movie--that is, one which is seen exclusively through the various camera lenses of actual participants in the story--is a plausible reason for somebody to be filming everything in the first place and capturing enough of what's going on for it all to be edited into a coherent narrative.  This reason never fails to stretch credulity to some extent, although THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and other superior examples of the genre manage to overcome this.

Here, internet fashion expert Nina (Lucia Brizzi) is having her fabulous daily life documented for her blog by a video crew when a rather unexpected zombie apocalypse strikes the city of  Youngstown,  Ohio.  When it does,  the lackadaisical dorks who have been following her around with their cameras suddenly become the most amazing video documentarians of all time, somehow recording all the action from every conceivable angle and managing to be everywhere at once. 

Even when Nina and her group are herded into the back of a van by the mysterious Zombinator (Joseph Aviel),  an ex-soldier whose vague resemblance to the Terminator is remarked upon ad nauseum, we continue to get equal coverage of both their movements in the van and those of the zombies outside, who inexplicably ignore the cameramen as not to hamper their efforts. 

And when we find out that the unsuspecting populace are being deliberately infected with zombie-ism so that the military-industrial bad guys can clean up by selling everyone the antidote, the evil army guys led by "The Colonel" (Patrick Kilpatrick) continue to allow their highly illegal actions and off-the-cuff confessions of guilt to be documented by two or three live video cameras hovering around their periphery at all times.  Not that we're supposed to notice any of this, of course. 

It wouldn't be so bad if the footage these guys are shooting was compelling in any way.  Most of it, however, is Shaky-Cam at its worst, along with a tendency to pan constantly from side to side as though writer-director Sergio Myers' only instruction was to "shoot everything!"  The acting by the leads mirrors this technique as Nina and her panicky pals spend the entire film shouting over each other in a mish-mash of overlapping dialogue that is mostly improvised chatter.  

Another basic necessity for this kind of movie, incidentally, is for the acting to appear as natural as possible, something most of this cast are unable to pull off.  Even prolific old pro Kilpatrick, one of my favorite character actors from such films as THE STAND, MINORITY REPORT, LAST MAN STANDING, ERASER, and CROSSFIRE TRAIL, finds himself at the mercy of THE ZOMBINATOR's general air of ineptitude. 

Even so, he's the best thing about it even during the painfully bad fight scenes between him and the Zombinator, a former comrade-in-arms in Afghanistan who now battles against the Colonel's heinous schemes.  And at least these scenes are a step up from the constant yakkity-yak of Nina and her friends as they scurry from one place to another amidst the ever-shambling zombie hordes. 

The DVD from Inception Media Group is in 1.78:1 widescreen with 5.1 digital surround sound..  No subtitles.  A trailer is the sole extra.

As for the living dead themselves, every once in awhile some of them will emerge from the darkness and get in a few good chomps or get blasted real good by the Zombinator's shotgun.  Their makeup is fairly good and the digital blood splatters and gun barrel flares are nicely done.  Overall though, as zombie movies go,  the terminally boring THE ZOMBINATOR is pretty much dead on arrival. 

Buy it at


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