Thursday, May 3, 2012

Zombie Awareness Month Zombiethon 2: The Horde

Gritty revenge drama meets
zombie apocalypse! In French!
Here's the thing about apocalypses: however they go down, it's safe to assume they don't happen in a vacuum. Sure, once the dead start rising and eating people, that's more or less the only thing on your mind. However, right up until the excrement hits the oscillator, other things are going on. In a world where a group of cops, for example, decide to avenge the death of a friend by raiding a gang hideout, bent on slaughter, well, plans are plans. Incidentally, that's how La Horde begins.

Unfortunately for the cops in question, a nosy landlord manages to get in the way, accidentally alerting the gang to their presence, right before they're about to let them know in their own way. One is gunned down (more or less) immediately, and the rest taken hostage. All told, this is about to be one horrifically gritty revenge-gone-wrong thriller.

Annnnnnd then the dead start coming to life, and our heroes -- and villains -- find themselves in the single most holy-crap-we're-screwed moment, possibly in zombie movie history: Stuck at the top of a crumbling highrise while the city explodes around them and thousands of walking dead surround the building. The harried survivors out at the Monroeville Mall had it easy.

How do you say "royally screwed" in French?
On the other hand, as we find out in the course of the story, this is also the home of the most well- (and illegally-) armed former landlord ever. I don't know that we ever got his name. I'm pretty sure it's Deus Ex Machina.

This represents the only real weakness in this film (other than the fact that MOST of the characters are just plain unlikable): at some point, it really is possible to stretch suspension of disbelief to its breaking point. Thousands of zombies randomly surrounding a crappy building that just happens to house our heroes? Fine. That same building also being host to an entire platoon's worth of weaponry, including a hand grenade that defies the laws of physics in its explosiveness? Now we're stretching things a bit.

That said, though, it really is a pretty good film, all things considered. Even if you do have to take your eyes off the action to read the dialogue.

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