Re-Kill (2015)

I love this title and have since the first time I read about this film a few years ago. RE-KILL is part of the 2015 8 Films to Die For line up, and is–if you haven’t guessed–a zombie flick. I was a little concerned that we might just be getting the same kind of zombie flick we’ve all seen three dozen times before. Lucky for us that director Valeri Milev and writer Michael Hurst (who also wrote MANSQUITO and PUMPKINHEAD: BLOOD FEUD) didn’t want to give horror fans the same old zombie story. Let’s see if they were successful.

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RE-KILL takes place five years after the zombie outbreak. The world is a very different place, and officially the outbreak is over. The R-Division has been created to eliminate the remaining zombies from the initial outbreak. The members of the R-Division are specially trained soldiers and violent criminals who were given the choice to either serve two years in the Division, or serve a lifetime in prison. There is also an Asian in the squad that is serving time in order to get green cards for his entire family. “Re-Kill” is also the name of a reality television show, not unlike the real show COPS, where a cameraman follows the Re-Kill squad into dangerous situations in order the broadcast a live show.

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The world that writer Hurst creates in RE-KILL is not unlike the world in the original ROBOCOP. It is a violent and dangerous world where people are primarily preoccupied with consumerism. Half the movie is filmed liked a reality show where wee get a first person POV perspective, and the other half is filmed like a traditional narrative. I appreciated this combination because if the film were 100% POV, it would have gotten old very fast. During the “commercial breaks” for the show Re-Kill, we get lots of commercials that make fun of all aspects of consumerism.

 

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The majority of the movie follows around the members of Re-Kill Squad 8 as they investigate and attempt to eliminate a new zombie outbreak. We follow the squad into many hotspots where there is confirmed zombie activity. These scenes are intense as the zombies are crazy-fast and strong … and quiet. There’s a lot of great zombie action and carnage going on in RE-KILL and director Milev keeps everything moving a long at a nice fast pace. The zombie scenes get pretty intense and the filming of them, even though they are POV complete with a shaky camera, are well done. It really feels as though we are on the front lines of a zombie battle, and there are a lot of casualties. At times it almost feels as though we were playing a video game.

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To offset these violent battle scenes, Milev contrasts these with the lighter scenes of the commercials from the ONC–the Outbreak News Channel. This is the channel that gives constant news updates about what is going on on the front lines, and provides much of the comedy relief through the commercials that are aired. Most of the commercials take the form of soft-core porn to encourage everyone to repopulate the earth, but there are also commercials about smoking, complete with the tagline, “What’s Left to Lose?” There are also commercials about a walled-in, self-contained living community separated from the rest of society, a drug–Vivodine–that helps prevent the zombie virus, and one for a Desert Eagle .50 caliber handgun. But perhaps my favorite commercial is the one for Gibsons Post Trauma Clinic. As the founder of the clinic says in the ad:

“We know talking isn’t enough. That’s why we prescribe a wide range of drugs. Nobody prescribes faster, harder, or more, even over the phone.”

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The members of Re-Kill squad 8 find themselves in the middle of a quarantined zone in NYC to investigate the Judas Project and to evaluate just how big a zombie problem there is. During the initial outbreak, NYC was completely overrun and a large, unsaleable wall was built around the city to contain the zombie threat. But as of lately, something big has been happening there and the threat only seems to be growing.

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RE-KILL is fast-paced with good performances, good special effects, and does something that most modern zombie films forget to do–RE-KILL is about zombies!! The acting is solid all around and there’s plenty of the red stuff to go around. I also liked that we didn’t get the typical storylines found in most current zombie films. The stars aren’t looking for someone, there’s no military conspiracy, and there’s no message about humans being the real monsters. RE-KILL just gives us some really fun zombie violence. The most negative thing I can say about this film is that at times there is a lot going on and sometimes it is difficult to figure out what the writer is trying to do. There’s the re-kill squad, the threat of the Judas Project, and all the faux-commercials. But RE-KILL is a worthy entry into the zombie canon and is a breath of fresh air from the staleness of other projects like THW WALKING DEAD. Definitely check this one out.

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My Summary:

Director: Valeri Milev

Plot: 3 out of 5 stars

Gore: 7 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 5 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Stay Bloody!!!

Re-Kill poster

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