Hot on the heels of JeruZalem with a Z comes The Rezort with a Z. Z means zombie. Geddit? It’s clever because it’s obvious. Described by film critic and Frightfest co-founder Alan Jones as “Dawn Of The Dead meets Jurassic Park” the flick envisions a world in which there exists an island where rich tourists can venture with the explicit intention of shooting the undead for sport. Naturally, this idea is not nearly as fun as it sounds.
Set seven years after the first outbreak, with the virus now contained, the movie kicks off with news reports on the ominous Brimstone Protocol, something which must be implemented if zombies ever run riot again. Our heroine is Melanie (Jessica De Gouw, star of the thrilling Aussie apocalypse movie These Final Hours, in which she showed considerably more personality), a woman with some kind of past trauma involving her father.
It’s not really explained too much and, in keeping with the tone of the film, when she does go into it, it’s a bit boring. Joining Melanie on the island excursion she can somehow afford is her one-note boyfriend Lewis (Martin McCann, doing the best he, er, can), a mysterious, bad-ass dude (of course) and a host of others who are either obnoxious or completely bland. Again, keeping in tone with the movie.
The Rezort’s motto is “every apocalypse deserves an after-party” and, although at first the island seems to be brimming with activity, and it’s initially enticing to get a glimpse behind the curtain, it’s clear the movie wants to be Jurassic Park really badly (the characters are even ferried around in red jeeps) but just cannot get there. The Mallorca location is stunning, but we don’t see much of it until some cool final shots of one character legging it across the plains.
The zombies in The Rezort look and sound good and an initial attack has just the right amount of viciousness. The whole thing hinges on someone messing with the system so the un-dead can escape, but rather than leave it a mystery, the movie shows us immediately who did it. And, even when things do start to go downhill, there’s no sense of danger, no stakes. The moral quandary at the heart of it all isn’t explored enough for us to care.
It’s all terribly monotonous, especially considering the premise and evocative poster (which seems to be advertising an entirely different film). Melanie is such a sad sack that it’s hard not to hope she dies, the character motivations are unclear or nonsensical and there isn’t even any decent gore to enjoy. The body count is high, at least, but one character’s death, in particular, is utterly meaningless.
The hunting sequences in The Rezort play like a live-action first person shooter which, considering how embarrassingly earnest the movie is, doesn’t fit whatsoever. Lines like “Hakuna matata, motherfucker” are delivered with completely po-faced seriousness. The opening segment is found footage for no apparent reason. A reference to undead rights activists seems to hint at a much better, and entirely more interesting film.
The Rezort, much like its zombies, seems to be missing several important parts. Those that still exist don’t come together to form anything resembling a coherent plot and, more importantly, they are inescapably dull. There are hints that something decent might be living within, that there’s still life behind the eyes, but we don’t get a close enough look to make any kind of confirmation. In the end, this island is probably better off at the bottom of the ocean.
WICKED RATING: 3/10
Director(s): Steve Barker
Writer(s): Paul Gerstenberger
Stars: Jessica De Gouw, Dougray Scott, Martin Mc Cann, Richard Laing
Studio/ Production Co: LWH Entertainment
Length: 93 minutes