Zombie Resurrection (2014)

Prey for salvation

Writer: Andy Phelps, Jake Hawkins
Directors: Jake Hawkins, Andy Phelps

Zombie Resurrection (aka Resurrection of the Dead) is a low budget British zombie movie that has a very unusual feature: a new idea.

The film starts with a tense sequence featuring a soldier on a mission. When he returns home he brings back the zombie virus with him. The story of the outbreak is told during the opening credits by way of an excellent animated sequence credited to ‘Glint’.

From there we jump forward a year or so. The original uprising is over, we’re in post-apocalyptic territory. The zombies have destroyed civilisation but not taken over the world. Most have deteriorated so far that they’re no longer figures of fear but simply minor irritants.

In this setting we have a small group of survivors walking overland. They’re a varied bunch, largely unlikeable. On their way they discover an old school and this is where the real story starts. Inside the school are a large number of zombies, one of which has the ability to cure zombies and bring them back to life. Unfortunately, before they return to life they first revert to the ‘fresh’ and dangerous stage. Which makes things difficult both for our characters and those ‘lucky’ enough to return to life in the middle of the horde.

Given the setup and title there is, of course, a lot of religious content this film. This varies from the subtle to the overt, becoming more direct as the film progresses. Unlike many movies it’s done in a way that didn’t offend my atheist sensitivities but which I found a really interesting story idea. There’s also a large side order of redemption subtext which works well for the characters.

The one problem with the story is the pacing and the variable mood. This pre-title sequence is tense and dangerous, but after the titles things change completely. The next 15 minutes set up the main characters in a very light hearted manner. It is quite funny – better than many outright zomcoms- but the section is too long and doesn’t fit well with the rest of the film; we’ve just got used to the fact that this is a comedy when it gets serious and dark again.

So although the film’s run time is only 86 minutes it really needs pruning in the early section. That aside Zombie Resurrection is an interesting and intelligent zombie movie that succeeds in bringing something new to the genre.