Don’t get me started on zombie films. In a nutshell, there are too many of them and they don’t offer anything different: Same makeup, same stupid hissing sounds and same plots. But take this little gem from the mid 90’s. Here’s a little movie from The Necro Files director Matt Jaissle that offers a different spin on the zombie genre, much like Dead Heat was a zombie movie. Now that I think about it, you could also compare this movie to Universal Soldier, only with a mullet clad hero instead of Van Damme. That’s a good thing.
Anyway, onto the movie! Dr. Bloom played by Bill Hinzman, who I barely recognized behind that hunky mustache… or maybe it’s because his face wasn’t painted grey and he wasn’t chomping down on a boobie, has discovered a way to reanimate dead tissue. I guess Herbert West should have patented that. The good doctor had to borrow money from the mob to fund this little science fair project and they are dubbed as ‘Cybernetic Zombie Assassins’ or CZA’s. Kinda catchy. Actually, it kinda sounds like a member of the Wu Tang Clan. The CZA’s are draped in black trench coats and these weird Mortal Kombat ninja masks with goggles and tubes. Come to think of it, they kinda look like the Augers from Night Trap. Did you ever play that? Good lord. So as one may have figured, the doctor has a change of heart (some BS about moral issues, I dunno) and the mob boss Francis has him gunned down. Francis is the kind of guy who does indeed wear his sunglasses at night so he can keep track of the visions in his eyes. He also slicks his hair back with about several gallons of shoe polish and wears black suits that he probably lifted from a funeral home and has a very ‘snake-like’ face. But that’s just my opinion. He’s a greaseball. That’s what I’m trying to say.
Enter Dr. Bloom’s son, Taylor (the mullet guy I mentioned earlier) who looks kinda like if Kyle Reese had a severe addiction to gravy and painkillers. Taylor is all like, “Where’s my dad?” And Dr. Bloom’s porky, drunk lab assistant Russell is all like, “He’s dead, bro.” Then Taylor is all like, “Bro?” Then Russell is like, “Bro.” Well it wasn’t quite like that, but you get the idea. Taylor and Russell decide they are going to use the CZA’s to get revenge on the mobsters. But first, they have to rebuild all the CZA’s in a sweet 80’s montage! Or should I say 90’s? Either way, it’s awesome! That is until the bucket of ice cold water to the groin of a girlfriend of Taylor, Heather. Basically, her role is small and simple: Try to be the moral compass and tell them the revenge plan isn’t a good idea. Pbbt, stupid girl.
Taylor goes along with his plan anyway, because he is pissed off, so to hell with everyone and their stupid feelings! This dude has some major daddy issues and pretty much has a jock mentality of just beating the crap out of everything as an answer. So the CZA’s kill the mob and then wander off and start killing everyone. And by everyone I mean a couple people, two of which are cops who don’t call for back up and scream at each other like they are trying to talk over some loud noises that aren’t there. Taylor realizes that he must set out to stop them, only to get stabbed in the chest by a CZA with Wolverine style claws. However, Russell and Taylor know that if they bring him back as a CZA, then he can stop them once and for all! It’s actually not a bad plan. Although in an earlier scene, the CZA gang up on Taylor, who only has a shotgun, but they run away when his girlfriend shows up. I guess the CZA’s biggest weakness is frizzy ladies’ 90’s hair.
Oh remember that mob boss? Yeah, he comes back as a CZA too, but with this goofy cartoon chipmunk voice. Apparently he had his own group of scientist copy the same serum that Dr. Bloom created. So why would he keep funding a project if he already had what he was after? To be more evil, of course!
Dead City, also called Legion of the Night, is a low budget, cheesy good time. The entire cast chews scenery like a kid chews Big League Chew: big slurpy gulps. It’s a lot of fun to watch and worth a couple laughs. The only downside is there really isn’t enough to satisfy any gore hound. The movie tends to shy away in that department.
The version I had the honor of seeing was a limited release from local VHS aficionados Vultra Video. They brought the best copy they could get a hold of and produced this video, so please check out their site http://www.vultravideo.com.
Regardless of my small complains, this one comes highly recommended. The Legion commands it!