Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Deadlands The Rising|
Actors: Dave Cooperman, Melisa Breiner-Sanders, Brian Wright, Michelle Wright, Lonnie Martin
Director: Gary Ugarek
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Unexplained explosions rock several major U.S. cities. As the night unfolds, more mysterious events are yet to come. In Baltimore, five strangers take a stand as the world is rapidly consumed by the living dead! A man stuc... more »
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Well below expectations
Duxman | Virginia, USA | 04/27/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"C- = A little disapointed I must say. After watching tons of zombie movies, several of them indie recently - I set a high bar for Deadlands. The expectation did not meet the result. Sorry to say.
The editing was poor. Several shots showed nothing but empty street. And showingcasing that Mustang - was boring.
The two protagonists - drew no sympathy from me. Neither did the fat mother and the child. I could not wait until they all got eaten.
The two interesting characters - survivalist gun nut brother in law, and the guy with the hat who warned the folks at the shelter - did not get enough airtime.
Gun handling was terrible in this movie. No regard for the rules of safety. And drinking while shooting. Wow. Another terrible stereotype.
The entire National guard squad - was unshaven, did not have full uniforms. One can only suspend ones disbelief for so long.
Lastly one side of the freeway is jammed with cars, yet the other side is wide open. None of the people decide to do the smart thing - turn back. Genius.
Sixty three minutes for $17.99? Not worth it. Wait until it hits the $5 bin if you really need a mediocre zombie movie."
A review from Zombiefans!
Zombob | U.S.A. | 11/20/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
1) ACTING: Not bad; typical for low budget fare. Some are good, some are bad, some are REALLY bad, the usual. Again, some of the lines that the actors had were a little tough, and I wonder if even the best of master thespians could have pulled those lines off. While it is nice to see "everyday people" in a movie, Hollywood has almost demanded that the main heroes are "pretty people."
2) PRODUCTION: Again, not too bad. I enjoyed the scene where all the cars are backed up in traffic and the zombies attack. Nicely done; very apocolyptic. Some minor lighting issues (one dark scene had the "Gary" character talking to someone, and only Gary's ear was in the light...unintentional humor). The blood and gore wasn't all that bad...for what there was of it. One continuity goof that REALLY stuck out was the Conner's dog. It is written into the script, the scene where Conner's mom goes upstairs to get the dog. She comes back downstairs with the dog and...that's it. Conner and his mom leave the house, seconds later, and the dog is nowhere to be seen. This little slip ruined the next scene for me where Conner's mom finds the cop dead after being attacked by zombies. I was so distracted by the missing dog, I had to hit reverse on the DVD player to see if I missed anything. There was also a lot of slow-motion shots used in the movie that I really didn't understand why. And the ending was rather abrupt. I wasn't even sure the movie was over until the credits began to roll. Of all that I seen, I think the biggest problem was the script. Minimal action for the first 30 minutes or so caused my mind to wander. I know that plotlines need to be set up to be put in motion, but perhaps they could've been woven into some action to get us to the second part of the movie when the zombies attack and the action really starts. In my opinion, I believe that this movie could have been better, if the director was not part of the acting ensemble. I think that way he could've focused more on the script, the filming, and the budget, tightening things up.
3) THE ZOMBIES: We have a mix of "Romero shamblers" and "Snyder runners." There seemed to be no ryhme or reason, as some shambling zombies would run, stalk, and attack in later scenes. Some of the zombie were almost like ninjas, as they silently would appear out of nowhere. The make up consisted of white / grey face with dark sunken eyes and minimal facial applications. Nothing really new is brought to the zombie genre in the movie as the zombie do what they do best, kill and eat.
4) THE CAUSE: While nothing solid is ever mentioned, I imagine that the zombie epidemic is related to the explosions that hit a lot of U.S. cities.
5) NUDITY: None.
First and foremost, I am NOT a movie director. I have NOT made my own film, and most likely, never will. But, as a PAYING CUSTOMER whose dollars support this film genre, I deserve the best damn product that can be made. Some of the dreck that gets put out nowadays is an insult to both me and my wallet. That said, back to my review.
I do not hate this movie. This movie is not the worst zombie movie ever made. Is it incredible? The 'Citizen Kane' of zombie movies? No. But, it is an average, passable entry into the zombie movie genre. Sadly, I think it will be dismissed as another low budget zombie flick and easily forgotten. I really believe if the script had been tighter, and if the director was not acting as well, this could've been a pretty good movie. Being a first time director / producer, hopefully the director will take notice of any problems that may have occurred and be able to correct them in his next production.
RATING: 2 out of 5"
Yes, it rises despite its flaws.
Robert Cossaboon | The happy land of Walworth, NY | 05/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As soon as I saw the lead scribbling in her journal, I knew exactly what I was going to be getting with this film. The only question that remained was whether or not I wanted to waste my time following the rabbit down this particular hole to see where it would end. I opted to waste my time. To begin with, I don't think it is even appropriate to compare a film such as Gary Ugarek's to the Romero Dead films or the 28 .... later cycle---how superior you reviewers must feel to be able to spot the flaws in an ultra-low budget film like Deadlands. Ebert will definitely need to step his game up with you guys on the job. So much for the apology. Ugarek, however, gets a big high-five for casting everyday joe-blows for the leads. Take a good look at who takes your money when you fill up your car with gas, or who serves you coffee at your favorite greasy spoon. Believe it, these are the people who will be left standing in the advent of a zombie holocaust-not the clueless silver spoon hotties who have probably forgotten how to look after and care for themselves. So, if the zombies move like middle-class porkers who've just put the kaibash on a lunch buffet, that's because 2/3 of America has a weight problem--don't expect Hollywood, they have better things to do than mix with the likes of us (like get eaten!). The trade off is in the obvious flaws in the film, namely the wooden and allegedly ad-libbed acting. As a result, just about every character is pretty much non-sympathetic. I truly could care less if they got the chomp put on them. In this case it certainly wouldn't have killed Ugarek to invest in a script person and possibly a couple of decent actors. Yes, the lighting is also pretty bad. Me, I personally had no problem with it, b/c that is really how I see at night anyhow. The makeup wasn't bad, although the zombie actors seemed to be hamming it a little too much, except for #11 zombie-watch out for him! The gore, what there was of it, was not bad due to some very clever camera work that didn't over focus on the carnage-you saw just enough to have it register in your mind and then it was on to something else. And so in the end, the film is watchable. This was done by a bunch of people living their American dream. Who is anybody to call them out to the undead carpet for that sin?"
I guess I liked this more than most folks...
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 03/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Deadlands: The Rising (Gary Ugarek, 2006)
Gary Ugarek's microbudget zombie flick Deadlands has received almost universal scorn since its release three years ago. While I guess I can understand why, given that most people don't watch nearly as many microbudget horror movies as I do, I have to be the voice of dissent on this one. While its harsher critics are certainly accurate in their assessments of the movie's amateur feel, both in the acting and in the technical details, and the slowness of the thing to get anywhere, I didn't think either of these shortcomings outweighed the surprisingly realistic feel or the solid script.
Plot: two guys, Dave (Dave Cooperman) and Gary (Gary Ugarek), find themselves in the middle of a zombie invasion after a military experiment gone horribly wrong. Yeah, that's pretty much it. And I should mention, since this seems to be one of the bones of contention among the movie's many, many critics, that the actual zombie invasion doesn't really take place until the final half of the movie. There's quite a bit of character setup and the like for a movie that runs shy of eighty minutes.
Because of this, a lot of how you feel about the movie is probably going to be based on whether you're expecting Hollywood-quality acting from a next-to-zero-budget movie. If you are, you're looking in the wrong place. I've seen a few microbudget horror films with incredible acting, but in general, they're indie flicks that got Hollywood actors who were willing to work for very little because they believed in the project (Deadbirds and Shallow Ground being obvious examples). This is way, way more indie than that; it's a bunch of guys with a camcorder who decided they wanted to make a zombie movie. Of the main cast in the film, three had worked in font of a camera before at all, and of the three, only one was appearing in more than his second film (Cooperman, who mostly works as a TV character actor). We're not talking about a cast where a casting director made a couple of agent calls and everyone was lined up. This is friends, family, etc. If you're not willing to take it as it was intended, then do yourself a favor and pass this one up entirely; you have to go into this one expecting it to be substandard in pretty much every way. If you do that--take it for what it actually is and evaluate it in that vein--Deadlands: The Rising is, dare I say it about a movie so universally loathed?, an above-average example of the microbudget-zombie subgenre. Why? For the exact reason everyone seems to hate it--because it takes the time to build the characters, and it allowed the actors a great deal of leeway in doing so, from what I understand (a good deal of the dialogue, especially between Dave and Gary, was supposedly improvised). Like all good zombie films, this one is a lot less about the zombies themselves than it is about the people who are confronted with the zombies. And in that vein, I enjoyed it as much as, if not more than, any microbudget horror flick I've seen in the past year. ***