Z Nation Preview - Should You Tune in Or Shamble On? - Dread Central
Connect with us

News

Z Nation Preview – Should You Tune in Or Shamble On?

Published

on

Z Nation

Z Nation Preview - Should You Tune In or Shamble On?If a step-by-step guide were written for how to create a standard zombie narrative, it would be titled “Z Nation.” Start with one part outbreak footage, and mix in some overlapping audio clips of news regarding said outbreak.

Simmer it in a stock of basic characters with one part brown-haired stubbly leader, one part love interest, two parts mysterious drifters with unexplained combat prowess, and three parts uninteresting zombie chow to beef up the cast.

Marinade in a standard post-apocalyptic world, equal parts towns trying to make it and traveling caravans with dubious intent. Bake for 45 minutes in standard character dilemmas, adding in a mission to cure the virus for some longevity. Garnish with dialogue.

I try not to be too critical of things for being standard. I can’t expect everyone watching something to have the same breadth of exposure as I do, and in my experience there’s nothing worse than a critic who decries something for not “pushing the barriers of cinema/the genre” without any good insight in how to. That being said, zombie narratives have inundated our minds and media in all forms, ranging from the classic Romero siege films to Brooks’ survival guides to Left 4 Dead‘s balls-out run and gun zombie action. No kid gets through middle school without coming up with a zombie plan nor high school without dreams of a team loaded out to his specifications and containing at least one of his crushes. We all have places to go, entrances to secure, weapons to brandish, and badassery to accomplish.

Syfy's Z Nation
If you were to take every cliche straight from the collective imaginations of every standard zombie fantasy, slap them together without care for plot or cohesion, and figure out how to do it for about half the budget, you would get “Z Nation.” Starting in an almost overrun military base, a scientist is testing a batch of zombie vaccine on some less than willing convicts. It works on one of them, and he becomes humanity’s last hope. Cut to some time later, and introduce a small town where good people are just trying to get by. Introduce a grizzled protagonist who’s lost his nerve to kill. Introduce lead soldier from intro with immune person in tow. Begin quest. Destroy starter town for dramatic effect. Find badass locked in cage and encounter punk rock sniper. Recruit them to your team. Kill a baby zombie.

It would be fine if the ligaments that held these shambles together had some heft, but this is an Asylum production. The dialogue is terribly canned and the characters stiff. There isn’t a single thing that happens that isn’t expected with certainty, with perhaps the sole exception of a twist ending that I still would have bet on with 80% odds. It seems to have a slightly bigger budget than the usual Asylum fare, but in typical Asylum fashion the scenes go on just a little too long and characters seem driven by a desire to advance a script rather than act as individuals in any real world.

“Z Nation” is not without its cool parts. There’s a traveling gun merchant who stood out as kind of unique, but I highly doubt the character will ever return or the concept will be interestingly expounded upon. There’s a segment at the beginning where the convicts were read an executive order that gives scientists authority to test on them, which was a cool touch of order versus chaos that I similarly doubt will be implemented in future episodes. The titular “Z Nation” is actually the name of a radio station being run out of an NSA research facility by DJ Qualls, a left-behind soldier who is now our last hope for unity in fighting the outbreak. While this idea isn’t exactly new, it’s well enough implemented to give the narrative some legs and keep me interested in the general concept.

Syfy channel shows have always been propped up by their ability to do wacky shit. “Haven” is a terrible show that I have watched every episode of out of sheer interest as to what crazy shit they will do next. “Warehouse 13” is just a bad buddy cop show with magic, and I love every second of it. Without anywhere to go other than the standard zombie key points, I can’t see how “Z Nation” would hold my attention. I’m used to Syfy shows asking me not to think too hard, but it’s usually because there’s some magical ass shit going on that doesn’t make sense if you try to apply real world logic. Asking for that leap of faith when showing a baby zombie go from crying in a crib to sprinting around is just stupid. If you find that “The Walking Dead’s” big talky words make your head box get the bad pains, then “Z Nation” might be just for you!

Syfy's Z Nation
“Z Nation,” produced by The Asylum, is an action-horror series about the epic struggle to save humanity after a zombie apocalypse. The 13-episode “Z Nation” stars Harold Perrineau (“Lost,” “Oz”), Tom Everett Scott (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Southland”), and DJ Qualls (Road Trip, “Supernatural”). It premieres this Friday, September 12th.

The cast also includes Michael Welch (The Twilight Saga), Kellita Smith (“The Bernie Mac Show”), Anastasia Baranova (The Darkness II), Russell Hodgkinson (Big Fish), and Keith Allan (Rise of the Zombies).

Karl Schaefer (“Eerie Indiana,” “Eureka,” “The Dead Zone”) serves as executive producer and showrunner. Acclaimed action director John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning) directed the pilot.

Synopsis:
“Z Nation” starts three years after a zombie virus has gutted the country, when a team of everyday heroes must transport the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood. Although the antibodies he carries are the world’s last, best hope for a vaccine, he hides a dark secret that threatens them all.

With humankind’s survival at stake, the ragtag band embarks on a journey of survival across three thousand miles of rusted-out post-apocalyptic America.

Syfy's Z Nation
Syfy's Z Nation
Syfy's Z Nation
Syfy's Z Nation
Syfy's Z Nation
Syfy's Z Nation
Syfy's Z Nation
Syfy's Z Nation
Syfy's Z Nation

Syfy's Z Nation
VISIT THE EVILSHOP @ AMAZON!
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Subscribe to the Dread Central YouTube Channel!
Hide your dark secrets in the comments section below.

Continue Reading
Comments

News

Exclusive: Satanic Sacrifices Live on in This House of Salem Clip

Published

on

Tomorrow marks the VOD release of Wild Eye Releasing’s House of Salem, which follows a group of thieves who end up protecting a young boy caught up in a Satanic ritual. If you wish to join them in venturing down a rabbit hole of sacrifice, murder, and demonic forces, we’ve got an exclusive clip that you can watch below.

Written and directed by James Crow, House of Salem stars Jessica Arterton, Jack Brett Anderson, and Liam Kelly.

Synopsis:
A group of kidnappers become a child’s unlikely protectors after discovering they have unwittingly been set up to take part in a satanic ritual. As they begin to uncover the truth of the house they find themselves trapped, they must battle demonic forces and uncover a legacy of over a hundred years of murder in the name of the Devil.

Continue Reading

News

Hangman starring Al Pacino, Karl Urban, and Brittany Snow Blu-ray Specs

Published

on

Three of my favorite actors out there right now are Al Pacino, Karl Urban, and Brittany Snow. So you can imagine my excitement when not only was it announced that the three of them were going to be starring in a film together, but said film was going to be a serial killer thriller.

The film is called Hangman and it is all set to hit Blu-ray, DVD, and digital on February 27. You can check out the cover art to the right and the special features, synopsis, and trailer below.

After looking through all of that make sure to let us know how excited you are to own Hangman on Blu-ray.

The film is directed by Johnny Martin based on a script by Michael Caissie, Charles Huttinger, and Phil Hawkins and stars Al Pacino, Karl Urban, Sarah Shahi, Brittany Snow, and Joe Anderson.

Hangman hits Blu-ray, DVD, and digital February 27.

Special features:

  • Al Pacino: Insight from a Hollywood Legend featurette
  • Hangman: In Their Own Words featurette

BUY IT HERE!

Synopsis:

Decorated homicide detective Ray Archer (Al Pacino) and his partner, criminal profiler Will Ruiney, (Karl Urban) are tasked to catch one of the city’s notoriously vicious serial killers who is playing a twisted version of murder using the child’s game… HANGMAN, while crime journalist Christi Davies (Brittany Snow) reports on the crime spree, shadowing the detectives.

Continue Reading

News

Exclusive FredHeads Clip Shows How Horror Can Help Those Who Are Bullied

Published

on

I’ve never hidden the fact that I was terribly bullied throughout elementary, middle, and much of high school. For some reason, I was “the kid” that was easy to pick on, to belittle, to break down day after day after day with words and violence. To this day, the effects of that bullying are still felt and I’ll never know why me or what I did to deserve it.

As with so many others that I’ve spoken with in our community, horror became a refuge, a safe place where I could watch the tormented become the tormentors, where I could see characters like myself become strong and fight back against those who delighted in terrorizing them. It was certainly cathartic but, perhaps all the more important, it was inspiring.

That’s why I believe the below clip from the upcoming documentary FredHeads, which follows the fanbase of the Wes Craven-created A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, so important. It’s a story that not only speaks to me but one that I hope will speak with you. I only ask that you watch it with an open heart.

Written and directed by Paige Troxell, FredHeads features interviews with stars of the series Miko Hughes, Lisa Wilcox, Kelly Jo Minter, Tuesday Knight, Ricky Dean Logan, Andras Jones, and more.

For more info, you can check out the flick’s Indiegogo page or follow them on their Facebook page.

Synopsis:
FredHeads’ central theme analyzes how being a fan can change your life. The filmmakers have been traveling the country to speak with enthusiasts of all types: passionate fanatics, lifelong aficionados, cosplayers, creators, artists, filmmakers, kids, and more.

The documentary also features insight from the stars and creatives of the Elm Street franchise, exploring the enduring legacy, cultural impact, and fan community. Interview subjects include Lisa Wilcox, Robert Kurtzman, Tuesday Night, Miko Hughes, Danny Hassel, Andras Jones, Toy Newkirk, Kelly Jo Minter, Ricky Dean Logan, and Mick Strawn, among others.

Continue Reading

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC