Zombie Night (2002)
By: J.R. McNamara on June 27, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Maverick (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1. 91 minutes
The Movie
Director: David J. Francis
Starring: Danny Ticknovich, Sandra Segovic, Dwayne Moniz, Steve Curtis, Andrea Ramolo, Deanna Wales
John Cars
Screenplay: David J. Francis, Amber Lynn Francis
Country: USA
All of the sudden, low budget zombie movies have appeared everywhere…why? Zombies are an easy monster to use in a film: get a friend, rip his clothes, splatter a little blood on him and get him to stumble around, moaning. It's not hard, hell even I have made a low budget zombie film (it cost $2000 to make, and $1800 of that was for a new digital video camera). Actor David J. Francis, who played Jesus in Wes Craven's Dracula 2000 knows this, and so he and his late wife Amber, got together and wrote and produced this little independent number, Zombie Night. Francis directed this film as well, and if you don't mind a bit of independent horror with some decent gore, (and a little bit of boobies), you will probably enjoy this, his first feature in the big chair.

Now, pretend you have never heard of George Romero as you read this plot, otherwise it may sound a bit familiar. World War 3 has hit…bombs are dropping all over the place, and radiation is infecting everything… including the dead, bringing them back to life with a hunger, a hunger that can only be satiated by eating warm living human flesh!! This tells the tale of a group of survivors who are holed up in an abandoned factory, including Dave (Danny Tichnovich), Shelly (Sandra Segovic) and Keith (Steve Curtis), keeping the dead at bay from the outside, but finding that sometimes dissidents, like Derek (Dwayne Moniz) on the inside can eat away at a group like a cancer, and tear it apart.

This movie has many faults but I will give it credit for one thing: the script has more heart than most zombie movies of late, be them independent or big budget. This movie focuses more on the plight of the survivors, and how they are able to deal with each other when a scourge is ravaging the Earth. Unfortunately it is hard to appreciate that when you consider the acting is substandard, the direction is somewhat lacking and the soundtrack is choppy and badly dubbed at times, with the voice matching not even coming close on occasion. The story jumps around at times, and the passing of time is not always clear: at one point a group of people decide that they don't want to get stuck in the woods at night, and the very next scene shows them stuck in the woods at night. This is OK for a bad American sitcom, but is out of place in a horror movie. The zombies look OK, a cross between Dawn of the Dead zombies and Day of the Dead zombies: not quite grey faced ghouls with a little splattering of gore, but pretty close. As a feature under its own right, Zombie Night isn't much, but the influences are obvious and a love of the zombie genre shines through, and that makes it tolerable…barely.

Looking like it was shot of video (it probably was), the quality of the vision varies form scene to scene. There are never any artefacts or any other of the problems that some major release films may suffer from when transferred to DVD, but sometimes the image is so dark it is difficult to ascertain exactly what is going on.
The sound on this is really quite awful. It may be 5.1 surround sound, but that is only effective if the sound recording in the first place is good. Sometimes the sound effects don't match the scene, sometimes the post production dubbing doesn't fit, and on the odd occasion, the score is so annoying it is almost unbearable.
Extra Features
The only extras on this disc are trailers for Lost Things, Woods of Evil, The 13th Sign, The Evil One, Darkhunters, Street Tales of Terror and The Witch Affair.
The Verdict
A news reporter quotes an interview with a victim's brother early in this film during a 'news montage': 'It was like a bad horror movie'. Yep, that's exactly what it is like, although as I said, given a bigger budget, the script could hold up nicely with better actors and better direction. As far as independent zombie films go, you could do a lot worse….I could let you watch mine!!
Movie Score
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