Dead and the Damned II, The (DVD)
Directed by Rene Perez
Distributed by Inception
After the debacle that was the first The Dead and the Damned, I really couldn’t have had a care in the world if a sequel were to ever breathe life, and after receiving word that there indeed was a second coming in the works from director Rene Perez, there was an overwhelming sense of “here we go again” flashing through my thick skull like a neon beacon in the night. Originally titled The Dead the Damned and the Darkness, it was then whittled down to just having a “II” stuck at the end of the original title – so without any further pointless info, on with the dissection.
Overall, this (surprisingly) wasn’t a half-bad watch… wasn’t a half-good watch either, but even though I expected this film to stink to high hell, there was a sense of abandonment from the first go-around, and that I believe was the sticking point to its mild success. Whereas the first movie dealt with the old West and outlaw zombies, we now have a progression hundreds of years into the future, and a full-blown apocalypse is on our hands.
Lt. Colonel Sawyer (Robert Tweten) has a very simple mission: provide a proper burial for his family at sea. However, the issue is that he’s got to make it across hundreds of miles that contain armies of the undead. Outfitted with a hi-tech body armor setup and the accuracy of a certifiable marksman, he encounters a mute female survivor named Stephanie (Iren Levy), who luckily hasn’t been infected with the virus that turns the living into a flesh-craving lunatic but is now marked by the remaining male survivors as a potential breeding target (much like 28 Days Later).
Sawyer’s mission has taken on a whole new emphasis as his protection of the lone female at times seems to outweigh the interment of his own loved ones. So there you have it – laid out on a cardboard platter for you: no muss, no fuss. I’d love to offer some more along the lines of intriguing plot twists and character reformation, but the end result is a zombie shoot-out that looks like one of the multitudes you could check out on Syfy any old day of the week.
Not that it’s a complete loss. Some of the performances are decent for a low-budget film, and the production looks a little better than something shot on a backstage set. There’s a nice splashing of gore to wet the audience, and if you’re able to forgive some shoddy costuming (many of the zombie looks are masks with BAD cover-ups on the seams), then there’s a passable ministration to the film.
While no real connection between the first and second movie exists (there’s a short explanation near the movie’s close), if you’re simply willing to accept this as another run-of-the-mill zombie shoot-em-up, you should give it a go. But don’t expect to reap a bountiful array of rewards from it as you’d most likely be damned.