Godsmack drummer and horror expert Shannon Larkin is back with another Bloody-Disgusting Selects review! This time he tackles the zombie period-flick Exit Humanity, which is now available on VOD, DVD, and iTunes. You can read his in-depth, kinda spoiler-ish review below.
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Starring horror icons Bill Moseley (Devil’s Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses), Dee Wallace (E.T., Cujo), Stephen McHattie (Pontypool, The Watchmen, 300), and new horror hero Mark Gibson, Exit Humanity is a zombie saga that tells the tale of the ultimate battle of good vs. evil. Brian Cox provides narration.
“How does a man deal with the loss of everything meaningful in his life, and the loss of mankind’s humanity amongst chaos and despair? Set in 1870’s Tennessee, Exit Humanity is the legend of Edward Young’s horrific and dramatic journey through an unexplainable outbreak of the walking dead to lay to rest the most important thing in his life, his son’s ashes. The bleak post-Civil War era backdrop highlights the severe divide that the United States was facing, and the true loss of hope that so many felt during this period in history.“
Starting in Civil War times, this film grabbed me quickly and had my interest right away. I had no clue what it was about prior to viewing, and was pleasantly surprised when it became evident early on it was my favorite kind… Zombies! Clever use of killer cartoon art and narration, and a very strong performance from Mark Gibson as our hero (and main character, named Edward Young) made this an enjoyable watch.
So Edward survives the initial outbreak, but loses his wife and child. He buries his wife’s corpse and heads off into the woods, killing zombies as he goes. Like the amazing film The Dead, this has a major budget look and feel, and killer zombie make-up and vibe. And like all the classic zombie fare, the moral dilemmas are evident from the beginning as Edward is forced to kill zeds he recognizes as neighbors, and in a quite sad scene he comes across his son and has to dispatch of him as well. After burning his son’s corpse and collecting his ashes in a tin can, he heads back to his house and tries to end it all, but for reasons unknown, his gun misfires several times and he doesn’t get the deed done. As he’s laying on the floor he sees a special drawing of his that reminds him of a promise he made to his boy before the outbreak; to take him to Ellis Falls, a beautiful waterfall far away that was a special place that helped get him through the hell of the Civil War. He decides then and there to forge ahead, and make it his life’s final task to spread his son’s ashes over the waterfall. He heads out into the hill on his journey.
Told in journal chapters, I must say the end of chapter one was a real tear-jerker for me, so sad. Some heavy sh*t right there.
So our hero makes it to a town and meets another survivor, Isaak. Isaak’s sister Emma has been taken by an evil band of rebels led by General Williams, played perfectly by Bill Mosely, who nails the role. Isaak convinces Edward to help him rescue his sister, so they make their way to the rebel’s hideout. En route, Isaak slips away to “take a sh*t”, and while he’s gone the rebels come upon their camp and capture Edward, taking him to their f*cked-up compound and throwing him in a cell with some survivors including Isaak’s sister Emma.
Well of course Isaak comes to the rescue and this flick gets even more kick ass as bullets fly and zombies attack! This is not a pretty film, and bad things keep happening that keeps the pace flowing. Chapter IV introduces us to a witch in the woods who helps our now badly injured hero back from the edge of death. Time passes at the witch’s cabin in the woods, and as Edward heals, his relationship with Isaak and Emma grows strong and trusting. Chapter V drops a couple bombs and we find out the reason for the dead rising through a story from the witch, Eve. More importantly we find out that Emma is in fact immune to the zombie bite! After Edward is completely healed, he decides to go off on his own to complete the task of scattering his son’s ashes over the waterfall fulfilling his promise. He says goodbye to Isaak, Emma and Eve and promises to return when he completes his task.
Meanwhile, the rebels have found Isaak and Emma at the witch Eve’s cabin, and promptly re-capture them. We then see Edward, task complete, heading back to rejoin his friends. Does he make it back to save them? Can Emma be the clue to curing the zombie curse? Will there be retribution for the rebels? Well, that is the title of Chapter VII: Retribution!
As usual, I will not blow this ending and spoil it for you, dear readers, but I will say this is one of the better endings in a genre where there can never really be a happy ending – only a righteous one! Not a lot of gore (zombie feasts, gut-munching, etc), but if you like a good story, good acting and script, and zombie flicks in general, then just like me, you will enjoy this flick.
4 out of 5 stars. Going straight into the collection!
Until the last time,