Flight of the Living Dead (DVD)
Directed by Scott Thomas
Distributed by New Line Home Entertainment
What's in a name? Apparently a lot. Before the house that Freddy built picked up this flick for distribution, it was known as Plane Dead. While not the best of titles, it kind of worked. Now though it's coming home with an entirely different moniker. Get ready for *ack* Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane (writing that out makes nausea set in). What we have here is a cheesy play on words meant to cash in on the zombie craze spearheaded by the great George A. Romero, and if that isn't enough, we also have a subtitle that's meant to cash in on the ______ on a Plane craze from last year! Screw subtlety; this is marketing genius, I tell you. The reason this has me as annoyed as I am is because as a result of the title, while browsing the video store shelves, one might dismiss this an uber-dumb retread of familiar ground when in fact Flight of the Living Dead *ack again* is so much more.
There's no doubt about it, flying sucks. Think about it. When stuck on a plane, you're being hurled at hundreds of miles per hour at heights in excess of thirty thousand feet, and you're not the slightest bit in control. No matter how you slice it, that is kind of scary. For the passengers on this flight, however, whether or not they have a competent crew or how bad the turbulence will be is the least of everyone's worries. You see, a genetically engineered virus has accidentally escaped its holding container in the plane's cargo bay. Before you know it, zombies start popping up everywhere. For the living there is nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. They're in a flying tube. It's fight or die time, and on the menu for in-flight entertainment is all manner of gore, grue, and carnage.
Simply put -- this flick rocks! Picture the Dawn of the Dead remake taking place thousands of feet in the air. My hat's off to writers Sidney Iwanter and Mark Onspaugh and co-writer/director Scott Thomas for delivering a truly nightmarish scenario and for never letting things get too silly. This flick could have easily gone the route of outright Evil Dead-like camp; yet, it sticks to its guns by delivering the type of horror film we've been craving.
Speaking of craving, that's just what I was doing in terms of supplemental material. I wanted more. All we get are two commentaries and a standard three-and-a-half-minute long gag reel. Surprisingly enough, the first commentary with director Scott Thomas and producer David Shoshan (while insightful) seems as obligatory as it gets. This flick has so much fucking energy I thought for sure its creators would knock this audio track out of the park. Instead, you know what does? The second commentary with IGN Film Force editors Steve Horn, Eric Moro, and Christopher Monfette. Holy shit, these guys are entertaining! Hopefully we'll be hearing more from this trio soon because they've delivered what is probably my favorite commentary of the year. You just can't help but have a good time with it.
In a world full of cheaply made senseless cash-in zombie flicks, Flight of the Living Dead *ack for the third time for those keeping score* is the best ride out there right now. As a zombie aficionado, I couldn't be happier. Do yourself a favor; clickify the link below and contact the travel agents who are standing by at our EvilShop. Then get set to pick up your tray table, return your seat to its upright position, and let the screaming start!
4 out of 5
3 out of 5
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