When I first heard a sequel was in the works for THE DEAD AND THE DAMNED, I got excited. I reviewed the first film here a couple of years ago (prior to The Big Blog Crash), and I really enjoyed it. The concept of zombies in the Old West is not a new one, but director Rene Perez offered an entertaining jaunt nonetheless. So obviously, when the sequel came out, I was expecting another foray into the past. Unfortunately, that’s not what I got. Instead, this film fast-forwards to the modern age, where a zombie apocalypse has overtaken the planet. And although this movie is pretty decent overall, I don’t think I would have called it a sequel.
If you are not familiar with THE DEAD AND THE DAMNED 2, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Inception Media Group:
From the director of THE DEAD AND THE DAMNED comes a high octane sequel. In a savage land where zombies roam freely, Lieutenant Colonel Sawyer is armed with machine-guns, body armor, and courage. He is on a mission to give his family a burial at sea. To reach the coast, he much enter a quarantined infected zone and fight through hordes of bloodthirsty zombies. There he encounters a group of survivors, including a young woman who is a target of both the male survivors and the ravenous zombies. To protect the last non-infected human and complete his mission, Colonel Sawyer must face the dead, the damned, and the darkness.
First off, I have to state that I did enjoy this film. It is fun, well made for a low-budget flick, and it has a lot of heart. But I have to follow up my statement with a big “However…”. I liked it, however I was disappointed with it as a sequel. If it had been a stand-alone film, I would have enjoyed it much more. Aside from a brief ‘explanation’ towards the end of the film, it has nothing to do with the first. Even more confusing is the DVD artwork on the front, which shows a zombie cowboy on the front with a zombie horse and six-shooter! Still, the film is entertaining, so I will conduct the rest of this review as if it were a singular film.
THE DEAD AND THE DAMNED 2 is shot well and looks good onscreen. Just like the previous film, a lot of effort was put forth to make it look like a high-budget production. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the production team.
Likewise, the acting is pretty good. Usually, lower-budget features cannot boast a talented cast. The opposite is true here. THE DEAD AND THE DAMNED 2 has several talented actors, including Robert Tweten, who portrays the main character Sawyer, and Iren Levy, who does a great job as the mute, Stephanie.
I’m a little mixed on the special effects. Most of the zombies wear masks, which look good for the most part…but in some scenes, you can definitely tell they are masks. This is especially evident when, in one shot, you can see the normal flesh around the eyes of a burnt-faced zombie. Thankfully, the masks are grotesque enough that it’s not very distracting overall.
All in all, I have to give THE DEAD AND THE DAMNED 2 a thumbs up. It’s low-budget, living dead fun that zombie fans will enjoy. But don’t expect THE WALKING DEAD when you watch this. Just go into it with the right mindset, and you should have a good time.