Director: Pat Williams
96 minutes (18) 2016
Widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Manga DVD Region 2
Review by Tony Lee
Unless it has something like the quirky novelty of
Comedy that is played commendably straight distinguished Zach Lipovsky’s Dead Rising: Watchtower (2015) from the subgenre’s hordes. Based upon a videogame, this movie is comicbook fare, and features Dennis Haysbert rather typecast as a
army leader who preps a nondescript city for zombicidal fire-bombing. The hero
is a frustrated TV reporter (Jesse Metcalfe), while an urban survivor (Megan
Ory), adds stacks to the body-count of sinister droolers, and Virginia Madsen
(the heroine of Candyman) is reduced
to making sandwiches in the quarantined area. US
Follow-up action-thriller Dead Rising: Endgame offers more of the same, set two years after the outbreak is contained by the guarded walls of a quarantined area. Chase Carter (Metcalfe) is after another handy-cam scoop, and his snooping exposes a military scheme involving General Lyons (Haysbert) and a secret project called ‘Afterlife’. With a leisurely countdown to mega-deaths, the heroes face additional threats from army bad guys and a bunch of corporate security goons. Pat Williams makes his feature debut after a couple of decades of directing TV (including sci-fi shows Continuum and Flash Gordon), so this is a picture in safe hands, and it achieves its ambitions of B-movie status almost effortlessly.
Zombies in the movie’s second half are faster and crazier, from a new strain of the virus, than the undead seen in Watchtower, and Williams orchestrates an excellent mix of gore and stunts with a few inventive kills by the makeshift weapons - which are a signature of this franchise. The obligatory computer-hack takes long enough for the finale to get very nasty in the mad doctor’s lab, so even the medley of messed-up zombie clichés is hugely enjoyable viewing, complete with a zombie-decapitation by the rotors of a helicopter.
Dead Rising certainly makes a fine double-bill for Halloween celebrations!