Direction: Christopher Hatton
Actors: Dolph Lundgren, Melanie Zanetti
Ever since George Romero’s cult classic Night of the Living Dead (1968), bloodthirsty zombies have popped up in Hollywood’s frankly exploitative horror movies.
Owing as much, if not more to such dystopian frightmares as Re-Animator, The Terminator and 28 Days Later, this horror/action hybrid is surprisingly quite kick-ass. Writer-director Christopher Hatton’s take on the doomsday topic --- watch, it says, the end of the world is here --- is hammered out without any elaborate back stories or twists and turns to the plot which moves at a fast clip.
In an unspecified Southeast Asian country (the film was shot in Malaysia), a deadly virus is unleashed turning thousands of the affected ones into homicidal horrors.
Now, it’s up to a tough-as-nails mercenary (Lundgren) to stave off the horde of zombies. Cannibalism anyone?
Atmospheric camerawork and lively editing keep the viewer’s interest rooted in the ghoulish goings-on. It also helps that the acting crew, including the laconic Dolph Lundgren, doesn’t seem to take the apocalypse-now business too seriously.
Accorded only a direct-to-video release globally, Battle of the Damned is an ideal matinee for the zombie buffs.