The apocalypse has arrived. seven strangers escape a fIery blast that has engulfed the city. Refuge is found in an abandoned government building. Trapped with nowhere to go, they soon realize they are not alone. Something ... more »sinister, hidden in the shadows, is slowly killing them off one by one. A game of survival has begun. Become the hunter or become the hunted.« less
"Independent, low budget, micro-budget, no budget, backyard film; these are all fancy terms to say "we had no money, but shot a movie anyway". Rise of the Undead is one of these films. And thank god they exist.
It may not be the most technically savvy of movies, but who really cares about that. Rise and other films like it throw the conventions of traditional movie making and story telling out the window, and do things they way they want. A story like this never would have got past studio heads.
They never explain what the monster is, or how the apocalypse started. There is no clear cut hero or main character. The characters seem to be simply different parts of a single psyche.
If you can't get past cheap production values and traditional stories told in a non-traditional manner, then Rise probably isn't for you."
Richard Hoggwell | Florida | 06/26/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was a good horror movie. I've seen it accused of not making sense in one of the other reviews. They must not have actually been paying attention, because the movie makes perfect sense. It's not the greatest movie ever, but it's certainly not the worse. It's definately worthy of a viewing. "
Interesting, but underdeveloped characters
Doug Petrie | 10/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Rise of the Undead was definately not a great movie. In fact, it failed in many respects. But you got to give it up to the kids for trying. The filmmakers here tried to make a big budget film for nothing. And I'm guessing they spent next to nothing on this. Instead of making a safe, visually restrictive film, they swung for the fences. Sure, they may have struck out, but at least they tried. And I'd bet good money that if they do make another film, it'll be much better. And I say that this is the kind of thing we need more of. Filmakers trying to stretch beyond their financial limitations.
The movie's major flaw was poor scripting. The set up was ok. It just needed better characterization. If the characters would've been more developed, it would've been easier to follow them through the crazy plot. I even got the feeling that given better dialog to work with the actors might have been ok. There was nothing there that couldn't have been tightened up with another draft of the script.
I think they stayed away from the wide shots, but not for creative reasons. The over use of close up is one of the most disturbing trends of the last few decades of cinema. Back in the heyday of film, directors used close ups sparingly and to great effect. Today, they're used way too often. It's most likely the influence of T.V. It's refreshing to see a director let the camera just stay back. (although the shots should sometimes move and be dynamic) That being said, the director of Rise of the Undead should've shot the movie in closer shots. Not because close ups work better, but because DV looks crappy in wides.
The major problem with the way it was shot, was there wasn't much variety in the shots. They weren't very dynamic. It seemed they covered many of the scenes from 1 or two angles, with little or no camera movement. It gave everything a static, stale feel (especial in the first 30 minutes of the film. The second half was shot a little better, although some of it was a little too dark.
It sounds like I liked this movie. Well... I think it was good attempt. And with a better script, and a little more thought, I think the director might have something to offer.
Donna "Not Alyssa" Milano | 06/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie took me by surprise. I'll start of by saying this movie isn't for everybody. I did an IMDb search and it listed the budget as $10,000. You read that right. To be fair, it looks better than the budget suggests. This clearly isn't a couple of kids running around with a camcorder, but if you're expecting polished production values, perfect special effects and Oscar caliber acting, you might want to rent something else.
That said, Rise of the Undead is a unique piece of work, despite what the generic title might suggest. For one thing, nothing is ever explained! This was a refreshing change of pace for me. I've always been annoyed by horror movies that feel the need to explain everything. The eerie monster that has been sending shivers down your spine since the start of the movie is revealed to be a mutant hamster from Mars, and suddenly you don't care any more.
This movie starts off with what appears to be some sort of apocalyptic firestorm (depicted using low-rent but serviceable CG). Is this an atomic bomb? ID4 aliens invading? Dresden Redux? Who the heck knows? Certainly not the audience, and who cares? Then our (mostly nameless) characters, who have run into some sort of storage facility or something to escape, start being hunted by a creature that we never see at first. What is this creature? We never find out. We see it in flashes (Literally. From a Polaroid camera that seems to appear in one character's hands from nowhere.). It's just there.
Then there's the titular undead. They are given the film's sole piece of exposition (their origins), and... guess what. It's utter bull. The explanation of the zombies is a complete red herring! Nothing is explained.
Add to that a sub-plot involving a sex-obsessed psychopath and you have a pretty bizarre movie. I won't say that I get it exactly, or even that there's anything to get at all. Rise of the Undead seems to be an exercise in extreme minimalism, and because of that it really intrigued me. If you can get past the rough edges (as well as wade through the dull first 30 minutes or so) you might be pleasantly surprised.
Plus, it boasts a steadycam shot where the camera goes into a guy's chest and shoots out the other side in an explosion of blood. Cool."
Not a Zombie movie !?
John Kout | Indiana | 05/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is definately not a zombie movie. Well sort of. I'm a huge zombie movie fan. I bought this movie because I thought it was an all out Zombie fest. It's really not. The entire middle section of the movie does involve zombies, but I won't be as crass as to divulge how.
My intial reaction was anger. How dare they sell this as a zombie flick when it's not. But after some reflection, I began to mellow. It's not a bad movie. Sure it's cheap. And some of the effects and performances are laughable.
But, this is a movie that tries to reach beyond the standard. It is going for something more thoughtful and creative than just straight out horror. The set up is awesome, the dialouge has a natural improvised feel to it (i'm sure some of it was), the turns some of the characters take are interesting and unpredictable, the music is pretty cool, although some of the score is cheesy. There are problems. We don't really get to know most of the characters very well, some of the action is a bit awkwardly staged, and the scene transitions are weird.
I looked up the movie on imdb and this is the directors' first movie. I can't wait to see what they do next. Hopefully they'll get a bigger budget.
I would normally rate this a 3, but being a low budget filmmaker myself, I know how hard it is to get something out there for no money. and these guys did it. congrads.