Writers: Allen Green, Daniel Maldonado
Director: Daniel Maldonado
The Killing Strain (also known as ‘A Killing Strain’ or ‘Zombie Busters’) is a low budget zombie movie with all that entails in terms of effects and acting. But if (like me) you’re ok with that then it’s a decent if unoriginal little film.
The story begins with a scientist trying to find a vaccine to revive his dead wife. Needless to say he succeeds, but she comes back as a flesh eating zombie.
From there we switch to a young couple on holiday in the South Texas countryside when their car gets a flat in an apparently deserted cornfield. They quickly find themselves in the middle of a zombie uprising, forcing them to abandon the car. Most of the rest of the film is set in an abandoned farmhouse with a motley collection of survivors.
It’s all pretty standard stuff, in fact the film mines just about every genre cliché. Cellars, helicopters, trucks with no fuel – they’re all here. However it’s a solid enough story which all hangs together. Daniel Maldonado’s direction, whilst less than subtle, builds a great atmosphere and feeling of suspense. He also makes good use of the Texas landscape and the wide cornfields make an interesting change from the urban settings we see so often. The atmosphere is enhanced by excellent music from Christopher King and Marcus Zuhr, although I do wish the volume control on this had been turned down a notch or two.
As you’d expect from a low budget independent film, the acting is patchy. At one end of the scale we have Tom Lagleder (David, the main character) and Willie Bowen (Neil the biker jerk) who are excellent. Unfortunately a couple of the others are distinctly wooden, although I’ve seen far worse.
The Killing Strain is an indie movie so the lack of budget shows, especially in terms of some of the acting and special effects (or lack thereof). However if you can get past that then it’s well worth a look. It won’t win any prizes for originality but it’s a solid, enjoyable and welcome addition to the zombie movie genre.