Directed by Turner Clay
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Here it is, fiends. The movie with the longest title you’ll see all year. Of course I speak of Disaster L.A.: The Last Zombie Apocalypse Begins Here. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Meteors are getting ready to strike the city of Los Angeles. Following their impact, the smoke left behind from the destruction ends up infecting the living, killing them, and bringing ’em back as flesh-hungry ghouls.
It’s a simple story, but if done right, it can also be a blast of a good time. Notice I said “if.”
The opening meteor strike scene is pretty bitchin’ and gives the feel of a much higher budget film than what this actually is. Buildings are shattered, and explosions incinerate the areas around them. There’s chaos in the streets! It’s mayhem! Imagine if you will one of the most populated cities in the entire United States under siege from glacial extraterrestrial objects. Yep, it’s anarchy. Those meteor strikes, man. They look awesome. It’s just… wow. I mean, it’s almost startling how cool everything looks, and kudos to director Turner Clay (who did just about everything in this flick) for creating a truly memorable introduction into his film’s world.
There’s just one problem… The movie itself is about an hour and twenty minutes, and at this point there’s still an hour and five minutes to go.
Of course our protagonists, who do well enough with their respective roles, are comprised of a bunch of friends and a pair of brothers who are looking to help get each other to safety. They decide to flee to the coast and then travel north to Oregon. Any place is better than L.A., right? It’s in shambles after all! From there our survivors flee through and to a seemingly endless amount of apartments and parking structures as a means to get out of Dodge. When I say “endless,” I mean it. A good 50 percent of the movie is spent in one parking structure or another. No matter what’s going on outside, seeing the inside of a parking lot for at least forty-five minutes is dull. Especially because there’s hardly a zombie to be seen anywhere.
At no time did the zombie horde of Disaster L.A.: The Last Zombie Apocalypse Begins Here surpass three at a time. Usually it’s just one zombie. Sometimes we get two. But three? That’s the maximum. Almost every one of said living dead are introduced Resident Evil video game style with their backs to the main characters until they slowly turn around. It’s kind of laughable. Three zombies, even running zombies, don’t pose much of a threat anymore. You don’t exactly have to be Einstein to outsmart ’em, ya know.
As if the lack of zombies isn’t enough, there’s even less gore to be found, and some kills even happen offscreen. Even though the box says “unrated,” this flick could easily have been PG-13. The only way to get away with this cardinal sin is to have characters whom you actually give a shit about. We barely get that, and the dialogue is stilted and, even worse, repeated a couple of times.
Remember when I was praising the meteor scene above? That’s because it’s the only thing I can actually say is good about this incredibly dull mess. It’s more of a Clay Turner demo reel than it is a movie. Yes, Mr. Turner, your score is good and your FX work shows a lot of promise, but you may want to leave the writing and editing to someone else.
Given the attention to the cool CGI meteor effects, I cannot help but wonder why zombies weren’t CGI’ed in as well. If only to liven things up in the deadest of ways!
There are, mercifully enough, zero special features to be found here so once the movie is done, it’s done.
If this is where the zombie apocalypse begins as Disaster L.A.: The Last Zombie Apocalypse Begins Here‘s title suggests, then it starts with a whimper followed by lots and lots of yawns. This one isn’t even worth a curiosity viewing, kids. Skip it and move along.
- It’s less than 90 minutes