Severed: Forest of the Dead-Can’t See the Trees for all the Dead Guys
As I’m sure you’re all aware, the zombie movie market is sparse. I mean, really. There are simply not enough zombie movies or television shows out there. And video games? Forget it.
Sarcasm. Gotta love it.
With a zombie-infested market fully accessible 24-7, good zombie-related content can begin to get sparse. No one can help but compare every zombie flick they see to The Walking Dead,and zombie-based video games are often compared right back to Resident Evil even though the zombies in the games were the least of the player’s worries. Breaks were an absolute must.
One can’t forget the Xena showtimes for an hour of fapping.
As it is typical of my friggin’ luck when searching for a halfway decent zombie flick, I find this festering in the Netflix archives and decide to give it a look.
Lumberjacks and tree-hugging protesters are toe-to-toe in the forest, and the corporation that is ominously known as “The Company” (hello, someone likes Aliens) is urging the jacks to press on. Mac and his crew are working when one of the guys cuts into a spiked tree and gets a chainsaw to the chest. Mac and the others tend to him, but he suddenly turns into a zombie and attacks.
Carter and his partner are studying the tree sap for the Company, but their findings are yielding results that they are concerned about. Meanwhile, Rita and her band of hippies are going to drastic measures to stop the lumberjacks from cutting down trees.
Tyler is sent in by his father, who is Chairman of the Board for the Company, to find out why they lost communications with Mac’s camp. He finds a camp swarming with zombies and is attacked. Luke saves him and leads him back to a makeshift shack where Mac, Rita, Carter, and Stacey are hiding.
They decide to make their way to the camp after they wreck Tyler’s truck. They clear out the undead and try the radio to no avail. The next plan is to find a vehicle and leave. Luke goes out with Carter to clear out the last group of zombies and is eaten while Carter gets away.
No, this is about as exciting as it gets.
Carter explains that he was head of a research group for the Company developing a mutated hormone that would rapidly increase tree growth and size while reducing the time it takes for a tree to reach full maturity. The side effect, obviously, was not expected.
And, apparently, the writer/director is a Resident Evil
They find Luke’s truck and escape the camp, but are attacked by Luke who is now a zombie. Rita kills him to save Mac, and the group discovers a nearby encampment of lumberjacks and hunters run by a Hispanic madman named Anderson.
Yeah, sounds familiar to me, too.
The group escapes after Carter lets a horde of zombies in, and Anderson and Mac are eaten. Tyler and Rita escape, but Tyler hears Carter screaming as he is swarmed. He leaves Rita to save Carter, and is eaten as well. Rita makes it to the road and begins running.
Meanwhile, Tyler’s father is having a drink in the study of his mansion as he broods over the loss of his son. Without a word he gets up and walks out of the room. Credits.
Nope. Credits. Nothing else. Fini.
VERDICT: Huh? Wha?
So if a lumberjack is eaten by a zombie in the woods, and no one is around to see or hear it, it apparently doesn’t even matter (ba-dunk, chsh!!). This movie has all of the potential to be a decent zombie movie, but it fails in several areas.
Most notably, it’s boring as s**t.
The acting is what it needs to be given the content. The actors portray their characters well, though Rita is almost too much sometimes with her tree-hugging. Even in the face of what is going on, she still finds time to protest the destruction of the forest.
B***h, we got zombies. We burnin’ this motherf**ker.
The story, as you can see, is weak and drags on like Renee Zellweger at the Oscars. As mentioned before, the writer basically took elements from everywhere else, most obviously Resident Evil. There are a ton of nods to video games like Left 4 Dead, Dead Island, and Dead Rising (those who know the Dead Rising back story will see it), as well as the infamous The Walking Dead television show and the movie Aliens.
Anderson is totally the Governor.
The zombie make-up is a nod to classic zombie flicks, the skin being yellowed and streaked with purple veins. The zombies are erratic and slow-moving, but are deadly in swarms.
All in all, it sets up a fair-to-midland zombie flick, then drowns the viewer in boredom with repetitive dialogue and action.
I’m not going to say that I would cause myself physical pain before watching this movie again, but I will say that there are more interesting things I could watch that are more suspenseful and engaging.
Like a documentary on Swamp-Ass.