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Friday, January 6, 2012

ZOMBIES: REVIEW - Great Indy Zombie fun in "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption

With any pop culture wave, you're going to get a string of similarly-themed products or services.  The Zombie wave is no exception.

If you're a zombie enthusiast, you've probably noticed a slew of zombie books, movies, comics, and any other product consumers (no pun intended there) would appreciate.  If you've checked out the movies, you might find a good zombie movie is hit or miss, especially if its not from a big studio.  But even that's not a guarantee sometimes.

But director Ryan Thompson, in conjunction with Phantasmal Pictures and Monroe Studios put together a pretty solid zombie apocalypse movie called, appropriately enough, "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption". had a chance to check out the movie, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Here's the scoop:

An opening title sequence gives us the set up, that the zpoc was attempted to be countered by the US and the Communist Russians with nukes.  In short, it didn't work out so well, and the world was wasted and zombies still were around with some humans.

The movie opens with a dude named Knox being dumped in the middle of a desert by a scruffy old man.  The man claims he's doing Knox a favor by leaving him in the desert to die.

Handcuffed and gagged, Knox proceeds to utilize his hands and first takes off his gag.  He then goes all Bear Grills survival man.  He ties the bandana and then takes a whizz on it before putting it on his head, SurvivorMan-style, to keep from getting baked in the desert.

After killing a man camped out in the desert who was on his last leg and begged for death, he is discovered by a group of scavengers led by a woman named Sarah.

"The inquisition!  Let's begin The Inquisition!  Look out sin!"
Things didn't quite work out for the guy that 'saved' Knox, as he was tied to a stake by a guy who reminded me of Sam Kinison as Torquemada.  This guy ends up burning the other dude at the stake, classic Inquistion style, to the cheers of a group of mauraders that look like they just got back from visiting ThunderDome.  It is the post-apoc, after all.  They've made a home base in a church, and they work for a man named Rome, who ordered the murder of the traitor for setting his rival, Knox, free.

When Knox recovers, he is questioned by Moses, played by Fred Williamson, the noted former NFL footballer and star of "Black Caesar", "Hell Up in Harlem", and featured in "From Dusk till Dawn".

"I'm the fuckin' Moses!"

Moses and his band of survivors don't trust Knox, including a woman named Sarah, who takes issue with him when Knox takes the initiative to shoot scouts from Rome's team of mauraders.


The movie returns to The Cathedral where Rome is told about the lost scouts.  He calls for a team to go check every sector for the lost teammates.  Rome also has an affinity for bad girls, with Cien Fuegos (100 Fires in English), his right hand hussy, leading a team to go on patrol.

We also find Rome likes to shoot up with some type of drug and have a zombie brought to a dungeon so he can fight them.  He's a bad man.

Knox is recruited to do some scouting for food with Robert and Lawrence.  There's some natural tension between Knox and Robert, and they form an uneasy alliance as they go out to find supplies.
"Lawrence - *sigh*  When are these guys going to shut up so I can use my Hanzo sword?"
On the trip, Knox and Robert have a discussion on where they should park the vehicle, front or back of the store.  Robert wins the discussion by KO'ing Robert and parking in the back before they resupply.

"Dammit! I just waxed this Denali!"
As they are about to leave, the Cien Fuego luchadora leads her team passed the store and end up stopping to check it out.  With nothing but the element of surprise as an advantage, the three survivors take on the Cien Fuego contingent.

As the numbers game starts to get the better of the three, a mob of zombies jumps the Cien Fuego team and gives Knox and his friends the chance to run.  Robert drives in for the save.

Naturally, Rome is pissed and leads a hunt for the survivors.  While Knox and Robert are out on another supply run, the survivors at the camp get jumped by the raiders, who wreck shop in the camp.

Moses tries to get the advantage with a secret weapon, a mini-gun, to no avail.  The camp is overrun and everyone is captured or killed.

BMF with a BFG

Lucas is one of the few that didn't get captured along with two children of the survivors as Knox and Robert return, having been holed up in a building against a swarm of 'runners'.  They decide to make an assault on The Cathedral and put together a plan.
"I wasn't the guy in Transformers, but I'll sign your picture anyway."
Meanwhile, back at The Cathedral, Rome has made Sarah yet another slave to his insatiable lust.

That is all.

"Eat your heart out, Princess Leia"

The three remaining survivors plan to put Knox in a footlocker and disguise themselves as raiders when they discover one of Rome's stooges is still alive, played by the husband of very own Ursula Raphael.  They strap him to the back of a vehicle and drag it behind them to lead the zombies away from the camp, then leave him there to die as they get to the camp. They also leave the kids at the camp and expect them to make it alone, ala 'Unforgiven'.
My mom is awesome!
When they get to The Cathedral, they are asked to open the footlocker.  They do, and it reveals weapons.  Pretty good hiding, Knox.

"See?  Just weapons.  Nothing suspicious here."
Robert and Lucas get their best maurader disguises going, with Robert looking like the bastard child of Snake Plysken.  They make it in, and set Knox loose.  To provide a distraction for Knox to find Moses, Sarah, and the rest of the fun bunch (as well as set C4 to blow up the Church), Robert and Lucas get into a fight in the church commisary.  But they are soon revealed and captured as 'traitors' to be burned by Sam Kinison.

Knox finds Sarah and learns the location of the rest of the folks when Rome arrives.  There's a wild fistfight and gun battle in the pews up in Rome's lair, the choir loft.  Rome ends up hanging to death off the loft before having his crotch and leg blown off from a grenade Knox put in his pants.

As Knox runs off to find Robert and Lucas and free the people, its a hot girl throwdown as Cien Fuego takes on Sarah.  Yes, that's right.  And after a struggle, Sarah ends up giving Fuego the Jabba treatment and choking her out with her chain.


With all the commotion at Club Cathedral, the zombies come out of the woodwork and make a move on the stronghold.  Knox frees the prisoners and barely escapes with Lucas.  Robert doesn't make it, but sets off the C4 as the survivors ride out.  They make it back to camp, and the kids are safe.


I have to say, for an indy movie on a shoestring budget, the movie was actually pretty good.  I enjoyed it a lot, and highly recommend it.

I liked how the soundtrack to the movie was carved out with a synthesizer.  It gave the movie a classic 80s horror movie feel to it.

The acting was good, as everyone was committed to their performances.  The actors on the peripheral did good also.

The heel Rome, played by Jerry Lynch, was an over-the-top lunatic.  Some of Sarah's work, played by the charming Alicia Clark, seemed forced, but still committed.  Sometimes, I couldn't tell if Cien Fuego, played by Angelique Sky, was Russian or Mexican, but her performance was still fun.  Especially when she's pulled out the bazooka to blast Knox out of the store with his friends.

Fred Williamson as Moses looked like he was having a good time.  Robert and Lucas, played by Joseph Scott Anthony and Tommy Beardmore, respectively, were solid performers, especially Tommy.  His opening monologue when he was freeing Knox from his handcuffs was great.  And Knox, played by Johnny Gel, held it all together very well with his strong performance.  I hope to see all these performers someday again.

The only part that might have been weak was some of the dialogue, but the actors really did well with it.  However, the humorous and quotable tag lines more than made up for it.

But the story was fine.  I don't think anyone picks up a zombie apocalypse movie and expects it to be nominated for an academy award.  But this movie delivered on everything I watch wild zombie movies for.  There was the most-necessary zombie gore, gunfights, zombies just getting blasted, the living not getting along, and to top it all off, cute chicks wielding firearms.  Because lets face it, how many times have you visited a zombie fan site and not found provocative pictures of women wielding firearms and waiting for the zeds?

In short, 'Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption' is a great flick chock full of zombie gore and wild, bloody action.  The movie is a brilliant example of what a team of skilled and motivated people can do on a shoestring to honor the zombieverse.  Pick it up when you have a chance.

Check out the interview with one of the stars, Joseph Scott Anthony here!


Bowie Ibarra is the author of the zombie horror series, "Down the Road" from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuester, available in ebook and paperback.  His most recent work, "Big Cat" is the story of a wild beast roaming the south Texas countryside and the friendships that are put to the test in its pursuit.

Network with Bowie and pick up his books at


  1. Loved the captions & funny comments! Nice to have the opinion of a zombie author.

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