Movie Review – Fight of the Living Dead (2015)

Fight of the Living Dead
Courtesy of Cinedigm
Release Date: July 7, 2015

FightOfTheLivingDead-Final-1

When I read the title for FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, I initially thought it said FLIGHT, and I wondered if FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD had gotten a re-release. Thankfully, that was not the case (although FLIGHT is not a terrible zombie flick, I suppose). This film, FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, is a different kind of zombie apocalypse movie: it’s actually a mash-up of a reality show and a scripted series. That’s right, it’s a hybrid. And I don’t mean it’s a film about a reality show…it actually is a reality series. The episodes have been combined to form one feature-length piece. The contestants are famous You Tube stars, and they are thrust into a simulated survive-the-zombie-outbreak scenario. The result is a very intense and entertaining trek into new territory.

If you are not familiar with FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Cinedigm:

A competition series with horror overtones, FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (FOTLD) is an unprecedented mash-up of the reality and scripted genres. The show will follow 8 top YouTube stars as they attempt to survive the first 24 hours of a highly simulated Zombie Apocalypse. The only prize is survival.

I have to confess I have no idea who these You Tubers are. My teenagers, on the other hand, are familiar with them and have scolded me for not being more “in the know”. As such, the novelty of having such personas is lost on me…however the originality of the concept is not.

FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is shot via security and hidden cameras placed throughout a prison. We get to see first-hand the decisions each team makes and the resulting mayhem that ensues. I like the way this is done because it lets the viewer experience the ‘realism’ of each situation. And it is very realistic (as real as a ZA can be, anyway); the teams don’t know where the cameras are, therefore they cannot play to them. This is a cool thing to see, and it plays out well onscreen.

The acting isn’t really acting, because the participants are reacting to the situations that arise. They all treat the scenarios as real, and therefore their decisions and reactions are what you would expect from people under that kind of pressure. Again, this realism is what drew me in and kept me enthralled throughout the entirety of the program (it clocks in at 51 minutes, but the time flies by).

The special effects in FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD are pretty impressive when considering the concept of the show. My sole complaint is the pistol one of the guys finds…it’s very obvious it is filled with blanks, and the zombies do not really react when he fires it at them. I don’t know if this was intentional or if the zombie-actors missed their marks, but I found it strange.

That’s my only issue with FIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, otherwise I give it two thumbs up. I can’t wait to see where the show’s creators go next, and I would LOVE to be a participant myself in such a contest. Judging from the reactions of the cast, I bet they had a great time. The film is available now, so check it out!

MSB

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