Title: Apocalypse Rising
Director: Richard Lowry
Starring: Hunter Parker, Shane Samples, Johanna Rae
Runtime: 1 hr 23 mins
What It Is: Set in what seems to be an archeology campground, warriors from another planet travel to Earth in the hopes of replenishing their population only to find out that Earth is doomed to suffer the same fate as their home planet. The undead.
What We Think: All good films begin in medias res and while that made the first couple of scenes enticing, there was a lot going on in this film. From zombies to aliens, Jesus, and prophecies, there was a lot of revealing that needed to happen over the course of this film. The build-up was a little slow and oversaturated with waist up sex scenes. Once the story unfolds it becomes a bit easier to follow, but a lot of elements just don’t make sense. Especially the interactions between the warrior princess and Jesus and how exactly she is able to communicate with him, other than unexplained special powers. The film also leaves me wondering what genre to put it in. If it was meant to be a comedy, it wasn’t very funny. Slapstick comedy is hard to execute and the awkward sex scenes were more cringy than funny. If it was meant to be drama, I would have liked to see more tension between actors who didn’t see eye to eye. Really blowing up in each other’s faces, begging and pleading to be believed is a lot more enjoyable than the “yeah okay” attitude the scientists gave off. And from all of the blood and guts and fighting, it could have easily been an action film. But it also lacked tension leading up to the action. It was also difficult to become emotionally attached to any of the characters. The acting was pretty good, but because there was no character development the acting also felt stagnant. In all fairness though, it is a zombie flick, so a bit of corniness is expected.
Our Grade: C-, I will always appreciate the time and effort it takes when it comes to filmmaking. From the act of conception (if you watch the film you’ll understand that joke) to packaging the product for distribution. Many minds have to mesh together to tell a visual story. For that reason, the film deserves to be viewed. I’d go in planning on watching it for the concept and not necessarily for the execution. The first Purge (2013) had an amazing concept and was very poorly executed, but the franchise has grossed over $447 million. Still, there were a lot of elements that could have been done more eloquently when it comes to filmmaking. My last critique would be that the film did more showing rather than telling. I don’t like having to rely on dialogue to understand what is going on.