Zombies: The Beginning (Bruno Mattei, 2007)
[note: review originally published 30Nov2008]
I have, today, watched both a Timo Rose movie and the worst, arguably, science fiction movie of the eighties. But neither could possibly hold a candle to the transcendent, outrageous, offensive badness that is Zombies: The Beginning. The late Bruno Mattei truly outdid himself this time. The crapmaster’s final offering to the world of Z-grade cinema is also his worst film. And that’s saying something remarkable.
I don’t even need to give you a plot synopsis of this movie. Have you seen Aliens? Okay, replace the aliens with zombies and you have Zombies: The Beginning. There’s no attempt to conceal the fact that this is stolen from Aliens; in fact, it goes out of its way to make sure we get the connection (not that some more dense reviewers have). There is a fine line between homage and rip-off sometimes, and I spend a great deal of time thinking about that line when I watch some movies. I didn’t do so here; this is pure and simple rip-off to the point where I’m convinced the only reason Mattei didn’t get his pants sued off is that he died so soon after the completion of this film. (You can’t even grant it a parody exclusion, as it obviously takes itself very seriously, much to its detriment; a few doses of humor, no matter how puerile, would have helped this turkey immensely.) And I could go on and on for hundreds of words here about how every facet of this movie is subpar; just imagine I did, okay? You’ve read it all before. But despite all this, the movie’s worst failing, and the one that causes me to give it the rating it eventually gets, is that the movie’s called Zombies: the Beginning and the zombie quotient here is insanely low. I mean, you see a lot more aliens in Aliens than you do zombies in Zombies: the Beginning, and that’s just plain wrong. If I’m watching a zombie movie—especially if I’m watching a really bad no-budget zombie movie—I want to see zombies. And I didn’t even get that. ½