UK Release date: 13th June 2011
Running time: 93 mins
Director: Luca Boni & Marco Ristori
Starring: Alex Lucchesi, Rosella Elmi, Guglielmo Favilla, Elisa Ferretti, Riccardo Floris, Claudio Marmugi
Uwe Boll, taking a long overdue break from adapting every video game property he can, has decided to lend his questionable expertise, as well as a welcome cash injection, and allow someone else to destroy the zombie movie once and for all. Despite Frank Darabont’s The Walking Dead (2010) breathing new life into a tired species, it’s been a while since a feature-length has had anything new to say on the subject, with Boll’s House Of The Dead (2003) one of the finer examples of how to put a bullet through the head of a lifeless genre. Will newcomers Luca Boni and Marco Ristori be able to resuscitate the zombie flick with their apocalyptic offering Eaters?
The world has been ravaged by a zombie epidemic of grave proportions, now governed by hordes of living dead. Igor (Alex Lucchesi) and Alen (Guglielmo Favilla) are two of the few survivors, forced to spend their days searching for fellow survivors and capturing zombies so that a scientist, Gyno (Claudio Marmugi), can continue his experiments to find an improbable cure.
On their travels they meet an array of characters still clinging to life: a crazy painter, neo-Nazis, the imposing Plague Spreader, blamed for its escalation, and a mysterious girl, uninfected, hidden from a red-blooded land of laddishness.
In a world where the ever-evolving dead lay down the law, Igor and Alen know that the girl, Christina, is vital if the human race is to survive, but when they discover Gyno’s plans to create a new breed, they realise it’s not the undead they should fear the most…
He said: Humanity is in chaos, there’s a birth rate of zero, and the Pope just blew his brains out because he doesn’t want to come back to a world overrun by a vicious breed of anarchic thugs – and they’re just the living. Welcome to the wonderful world created by first-time directors Luca Boni and Marco Ristori, who together have engineered a movie that thankfully dares to offer some originality to proceedings, eventually.
She said: The world is governed by hordes of the living dead (yawn). Igor and Alen are two survivors, forced to spend their days searching for others and capturing zombies so that a scientist, Gyno (Claudio Marmugi), can continue his experiments to find a cure (yawn). On their travels they meet an interesting bunch of characters, like neo-Nazis (that’s fresh), the Plague Spreader (interesting), and a mysterious girl who appears to have escaped from infection.
He said: Taking time out from reading the latest edition of Girls and Corpses magazine, our two protagonists Alen and Igor go on a little road trip to keep boredom at bay, and after half an hour of seemingly pointless banter with each other, the mad scientist Gyno and two annoying loons that demand to be eaten (the sooner the better), the plot finally finds its feet and the cast, suffering from the same acute boredom engulfing the audience, are finally thrown a bone or two.
She said: So we have an apocalyptic backdrop (yawn), hordes of evil dead picking off scraps (yawn), two survivors surviving (yawn), and an interesting array of cosmetic effects and CGI (yawn). Our two protagonists spend the first half hour of the movie driving and talking, they do a lot of talking in this movie, and the plot takes the same journey as the car they’re travelling in, that would be to nowhere fast.
He said: Luckily, the attractive blonde with it all hanging out is a satisfying first kill, not because of its brutality, but because Igor is able to deliver the first of many wonderful lines of dialogue. Then, finally, after yet another brief encounter with a character (the madcap painter) that offers little to the plot, things start to get interesting.
She said: The neo-Nazis offer up a welcome break from the monotony, but in truth, capping off zombies for pleasure is hardly the breakthrough I was looking for. The special effects are appealing, but they’re not enough to keep you interested in a film that threatens to run out of breath faster than Johnny can say, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara”.
He said: The murky wastelands explored on route are beautifully realized, especially when they probe neighboring sectors, and the soundtrack pumps harder than Schwarzenegger in his heyday.
She said: The film takes a welcome turn if you stick with it, new breeds of zombie capable of reproduction, zombies of a higher intelligence that can talk and watch TV, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been touched upon in the likes of Shaun and Dawn of the Dead. Luca Boni & Marco Ristori have failed to add anything new to a genre that continues to wander aimlessly through the dead of night, picking off viewers in search of original ideas. So is anybody else getting bored of zombies yet?
He said: No. The appearance of the Plague Spreader may disappoint in terms of chills and a potentially decent idea wasted (Igor does get to deliver another cracking one-liner), but on the other hand, the discovery of Christina turns this timid tale into a mind-boggling head-screw. Our two auteurs have cleverly moved on from a living dead that can merely keep up with their victims, allowing them to be entertained by television, carry and use weapons, and even, dare you believe it, talk. Astonishingly, it somehow works, made the more fun when Alen shoots one dead because, “she was asking too many questions”.
She said: Eaters fails to rise to the challenge of invention, destined to fight for survival amongst a horde of horror movies already clambering for fresh blood.
He said: Eaters keeps most of its horrors under wraps for the majority of the disappointing opening act and instead diverts the audience with two sufficient leads and an escalating sense of dread that pays off in an appropriately apocalyptic final act.
She said: Zombie fanatics will no doubt embrace the inventive effects, appealing soundtrack and quirky characterisations, but the rest of the world will probably question how a film ‘Presented by Uwe Boll’ was ever supposed to sound appealing.