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Review: The Revenant

This is a zombie comedy. I know that there have been so many zombie comedies that it is becoming its own genre so I wasn’t expecting very much but this managed to keep my interest and I did a have few laughs. The characters are not the Romero-type zombies and are called revenants in the film title. They are just as smart as they were when alive but if they don’t feed on blood they rot. They also pass on the condition to those they feed on.

Bart (David Anders) was a soldier serving in Iraq when he got out of his tank to see if he might have killed a child on the road and he gets shot dead. At his funeral the minister is giving a poor taste sermon about how Bart is probably going to hell because he never said the magic words ‘I accept Jesus as my saviour’. The mourners include his girlfriend Janet (Louise Griffiths), his best friend Joey (Chris Wylde) and Joey’s girlfriend Mathilda (Jacy King) who all go to a bar to drown their sorrows. Joey says something that upsets Janet and she runs off outside. Joey follows her and they talk and Joey hugs and comforts her and hugs lead to kissing and we cut away from where kissing leads.

Bart wakes up in his coffin and breaks out. The gravediggers hadn’t actually buried him since their digger ran out of fuel and they just left his coffin in the open grave. Bart breaks into the nearby mortuary and cuts the thread stitching his mouth shut. He sees the state of himself in a mirror with poached egg eyes and pale peeling skin and is scared and confused. He heads for Joey’s house where Joey is a bit freaked out at first but he’s pleased that his buddy is back. Bart thinks it was all a big mistake burying him and that he’s still alive. He feels a painful hunger and Joey points out that he hasn’t eaten in two weeks. Joey finds some scraps of food and gives them to Bart who tries eating some of it but he ends up puking up black blood. Joey takes Bart to a hospital and he gets examined by a doctor who isn’t phased by his lack of body heat or the poached egg eyes but when he opens his shirt to reveal autopsy scars she freaks out and calls security. Joey quickly gets Bart out of the hospital before the police arrive and cause them any more problems.

Back at Joey’s apartment just as the Sun come up Bart collapses dead away. Mathilda comes to see Joey and she’s a Wiccan and detects her own sense of being creeped out by Bart but claims it is a force for evil that she senses. Mathilda tells Joey he must cut off Bart’s head and put a stake through his heart while he sleeps. Joey refuses and Mathilda warns him that Bart must feed on the blood of the living to survive. When the sun sets that night Bart wakes and goes to rob a hospital blood bank. He runs into nurse that tries to stop him by trying to recruit him into the Scientology cult but the sight of Bart’s eyes freaks her out so much that she lets Bart leave with the blood.

Drinking the blood lets Bart act almost normal again and he and Joey go out for night on the town and stay up so late that Joey has to carry Bart back home when he falls dead away at sunrise. The next night Bart and Joey try to figure what Bart is. After talking about how much he is like a vampire then a zombie, out of nowhere Joey comes up with revenant, an undead spirit who walks the earth in corporeal form and feeds off the blood of the living to halt the process of decay. Joey has an idea of where Bart can get blood and takes him for a drive around the poorer part of the city and tries to trick homeless beggars into their car but very few homeless people are stupid enough to get into a stranger’s car and anyway Bart is not happy about killing innocent bums.

A mugger tries to rob them and shoots Bart several times and is frustrated that he failed to kill him and while he is distracted Joey knocks out the mugger from behind with a wheel lock. Joey and Bart put the body into Joey’s car and Bart feeds on the man’s blood, then they dump his body into a reservoir. The following night they kill a liquor store robber much to delight of the store owner. After that they make the news and think they have got the perfect victims for Bart, violent criminals. Joey starts wishing he was like Bart and he gets his wish after getting shot by robbers. Bart feeds on him and that night Joey joins Bart feeding on the blood of violent criminals.

They become popular heroes in the media but of course things start going wrong when their girlfriends find out what they are up to and they find out that they have not been careful enough in disposing of their victims.

I liked this film because it did not go for the goofy comedy that many comedy zombie films go for and when it wants to be dark and disturbing it goes for it. The two leads were pretty convincing and had some funny dialogue but the girlfriends were a bit underdeveloped. The kills themselves were not very bloody and there were no zombies tearing flesh but it does have couple of ‘ugh’ moments and there’s some with completely unerotic male nudity. I recommend giving this film a watch.

Rating 6.7

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Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Entertainment, Film


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