A lot of low budget movies that are made today come from short films. Shorts can be regarded as a stepping stone for young film makers, giving them the chance to practice their art in a relatively autonomous manner. The result is often excellent films with a strong narrative and lots of ideas. From this these directors are picked up by studios to develop the short into a feature length movie. As with all films, some turn out well, others not so much. Falling in the latter category is the 2015 zombie film Age of the Dead (previously known as Anger of the Dead).
On the day that should be the happiest of her life, Alice (Roberta Sparta) is experiencing the worst that can happen. She has found out that she is pregnant with her second child. At the same time a plague has started to sweep across the world with the infected becoming zombies. After her first child is killed in an attack in their home, Alice manages to escape. She meets Peter (Michael Segal) and together they head off in search of safety. After four months, they get a break with the word of a sanctuary on an island. They only have a couple of days to reach the coast and rendezvous with a ship.
This film is a mess. The low production values are something that can’t really be forgiven. There are many examples of good low budget film making out there that make the most of their money. It doesn’t have to look cheap and nasty. The zombies are all over the place. They have no consistent behaviour. Some run fast, others shuffle, some just stand there while others are like stealth ninjas. We don’t know how they can sense humans as it isn’t made clear and it seems to change.
The story and dialogue are not really up to much either. The characters have all the familiar traits of the genre. The lead is a vulnerable yet bad ass female. The male lead is a sympathetic and caring individual that doesn’t bode well for his chances later on. In fact, you could probably note how each of the characters will fare based on their personalities. I don’t blame the actors for the film. They are trying their best with some wooden dialogue and very average character development.
To pad out the film, there is a sub plot about a facility where a woman is being experimented on. It introduces the main human antagonist and shows off some gratuitous nudity and medical procedures. These characters only interact with the others late in the film and it feels like it was added in to extend the running time to over eighty minutes.
Overall, a film that adds nothing to the zombie genre and isn’t even very entertaining.