Saturday, July 28, 2012



Are you sick of them yet? I sure as hell am.

There was a time when the prospect of new zombie films was very exciting. Now, there seems to be a new low-budget indie zombie movie hitting Redbox and Netflix every week.

In this day and age of zombie overload, Exit Humanity does the impossible and creates a pretty original and interesting zombie film.

Exit Humanity is set several years after the end of the Civil War. Edward Young (Mark Gibson) is a shell of a man, having lost both his wife and his son to the walking dead. Pretty much done with life, Edward sets off to do one final task: scatter his sons ashes at a waterfall that brought him peace during the war.

Along the way he blows away zombies, and runs into Issac, who also is pretty adept at zombie killing. Issac says that a crazy general (Bill Moseley) and his gang of crazy soldiers have kidnapped Issac's sister, along with a bunch of other people, in hopes of finding a "cure" to the zombie outbreak.

So Edward agrees to help Issac, and before long, Edward, Issac and Issac's sister Emma are hiding out with a woman named Eve (played by the mom from E.T., aka Dee Wallace). Eve is thought of as a witch, and she has a few secrets she's not very proud of.

Meanwhile, the general and his men are out for blood, and chaos ensues.

Exit Humanity has a very simple story, and the whole "crazy evil army people looking for a cure" story-line is a nice little nod to Day of the Dead, but what drives the film is its competent production values. This is clearly a low budget film, but director John Geddes does a great job of not letting you realize that. The film looks gorgeous, and Geddes applies a neat little trick: whenever he has a scene that would require a bigger budget, it's presented as an animation, which ties into the sketches that Edward Young makes in his journal.

Also adding greatly to the film is Brian Cox, who narrates the story with Terrence Malick-esqe prose. 

But Exit Humanity is not without its flaws. The biggest is that the movie feels way too long. It starts to lag in the middle, and it's clear that a lot of padding is going on to stretch things out. Trimmed of about ten to twenty minutes, the film would be much tighter. 

I love Bill Moseley; he is of course a genre favorite. But he's pretty terrible in the movie. The rest of the cast does a fantastic job, which causes Moseley to stand out like a sore thumb as he chews the scenery and yells and knocks things over trying to act crazy. The movie also loses some points for totally wasting awesome character actor Stephen McHattie in a pretty thankless, nothing role. Things would have been better suited if Moseley and McHattie had switched characters.

This may seem a bit nit-picky since this is a low-budget film, but the zombie make-up is inconsistent and distracting. At times, it looks really good--creepy and effective. At others it looks like total crap--like people with white goop smeared on their faces. 

But overall, Exit Humanity does a pretty good job of injecting some life into the zombie genre. 

The music is very good, as is the costume design; these things are important. A good soundtrack and good costumes can make your low budget schlock look like a million bucks.

The zombie genre may be beating an undead horse (see what I did there??), but Exit Humanity takes it into a different direction, and succeeds where so many others have failed. 

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree. I felt pretty much the same way you did. I think the director and the production company he represents have a pretty exciting future. Their films are low budget, but they are ambitious.