Reviews

Film Review: Z-ERO (2023) – Horror News | HNN

SYNOPSIS:

After being bitten during a zombie outbreak, a man gains superpowers and becomes a zombified superhero.

REVIEW:

Review-It’s hard to do anything original with zombies these days, so I applaud the folks behind Z-ERO for giving it a shot and they succeed for the most part. While most zombie flicks are basically the same old same old, this movie tries something different and the results are impressive. It reminded me a lot of the classic Bookwalter flick Zombie Cop in a lot of ways, and while it isn’t perfect, it’s still an enjoyable little movie.

The premise is a little different from most recent zombie flicks, and it is a lot of fun. A guy named Johnny (played by writer/director/producer Wesley Spangler) is bitten by a zombie one day, but instead of becoming a  mindless member of the living dead who eats flesh, he gains superpowers instead and decides to become a superhero. It’s a good thing that he made this decision, as the world really needs a hero to save it from the zombie outbreak, especially considering that there is a powerful female alpha zombie who controls all the other zombies. Sounds like a good time, right? It is for the most part and I thought that this movie was a lot of fun. As I said earlier, it has a big Zombie Cop vibe to it and I wonder if Spangler wasn’t influenced by that film when he came up with the concept for this movie.

One of the things that works for the movie is the cast. Most of the characters are extremely likable, especially Johnny. You can’t help but like him and want to root for him, and there is just something charming about him in general. I also dug Sharah Trigger as the big bad of the film. Not only is she a great antagonist for our hero, but she’s also extremely easy on the eyes too (ever seen a hot zombie chick? Trigger definitely fits this description to a tee). Russell Sage Patrick is also enjoyable as the badass zombie fighter Ash, and Rita Christine does a fine job in the role of Johnny’s sidekick Vikki and has some of the best lines in the movie in my opinion. While the acting may be a little hit or miss at times it is obvious that the cast put a lot of heart into their roles and the characters all rock as a result (I also loved the cute dogs that appear in the movie too).

I also thought that Spangler did a good job with the script. It has a lot of heart, and you can tell that he put a lot of thought into it when he was working on it. There’s a big surprise that I didn’t see coming at one point about the Alpha zombie chick that I thought works and I like the fact that she has a connection to the main character. Most of the dialogue works as well as there were a few lines that made me chuckle, and I was glad that the humor was subtle instead of being over the top and obnoxious the way it is in a lot of other recent films. I really dug the idea of someone being in control of the zombies too as I thought this was a nice touch and wasn’t something that has been done a lot for the most part that I am aware of (aside from Stephen King’s Cell).

On the flip side, some things didn’t quite work. As I said earlier, some of the acting is hit or miss and the special effects leave a little to be desired. I also wasn’t really feeling the whole story with Johnny’s missing lover and feel as though that bit could have been left out completely and it wouldn’t have really had any impact on the rest of the film. These are just a few minor issues that I noticed, but honestly none of them were bad enough that they kept me from enjoying the film in general and are easy to ignore.

Overall, I dug Z-ERO. I thought it was a fun movie with a lot of heart behind it and even though there are a few issues, it’s still an enjoyable experience. You can tell that the actors had a great making the movie and it is obvious that everyone involved put 110% into it. If you’re looking for something a little different then give this movie a shot, you won’t regret it.

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