“Zombie Hunter” is an absolutely ridiculous film. That’s not meant to be a putdown in this case. If it were anything but ridiculous, it just wouldn’t work. It’s what makes the movie watchable and gives it such an entertaining air.
After a zombie apocalypse, a loner (Martin Copping) with nothing left to lose drives cross-country taking out the walking dead whenever he crosses paths with them. After a car crash, he’s brought to a remote refuge of survivors. He soon finds himself leading the misfits as they flee for their lives when the flesh-eaters discover their hideaway.
What could have easily been lost in a never-ending sea of movies centered on the walking dead rises above thanks to an obvious influence taken from Japanese films like “Mutant Girl Squad,” “Helldriver,” and “Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl.” All the hyper-tense action sequences, vivid colors, and ultra-violence found in those are mimicked here to mostly successful results.
If what you’re looking for is the realism of “Night of the Living Dead” or “The Walking Dead,” don’t gaze in the direction of “Zombie Hunters.” There’s tons of gore and beheadings, but everything’s done in an extremely animated and tongue-in-cheek manner. Instead of the dark crimson colors audiences expect when zombies are butchered and bludgeoned, blood flows in ultraviolet hues of pink and purple here. Just like the Japanese films this movie is influenced by, the brightly colored blood splatters across the screen as the zombies are sliced and diced.
The special effects for “Zombie Hunters” are also intentionally cartoon-like. Somehow they fit in with the absurdity of the rest of the movie. You can tell filmmakers deliberately used certain CGI and practical effects which transition in appearance from fake to realistic. It’s evident because the quality shifts from scene to scene.
For instance, the film will go from a scene of zombie monsters which look like Ray Harryhausen models to a sequence of a person getting a chainsaw drilled through their stomach with lifelike blood pouring forth. The next scene features a zombie getting his head cut off as purple day-glo gore sprays out of it all over the camera lens.
Although “Zombie Hunter” is not yet rated by the MPAA, I would consider it to be an “R.” There’s no nudity, but plenty of sensuality. As an example, one of the woman survivors performs an unnecessary pole-dancing routine. There’s a ton of gore and violence, even though most of it does come across as rather cartoonish. Plenty of bad language is uttered as well.
“Zombie Hunter” is presented in 16:9 widescreen with 5.1 HD surround sound. The picture quality brings out all the vibrant colors of the gore spewing forth onto the camera lens. The audio engulfs the viewer in gunshots, the moans of zombies, and other apocalyptic noises.
If you’re a fan of the excessively gory and irreverently silly films of Yoshihiro Nishimura, then you’ll no doubt enjoy “Zombie Hunter.” Just don’t watch the movie expecting Academy Award-winning performances or the serious atmosphere of George A. Romero or Robert Kirkman’s post-apocalyptic worlds. While nowhere near as good as the Japanese films it attempts to imitate, I have to give director Kevin King at least a B for effort.
“Zombie Hunter” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital Download.