Rise of the Zombie
Direction: Luke Kenny and Devaki Singh
Actors: Luke Kenny, Benjamin Gilani, Kirti Kulhari
Rise of the Zombie has been pitched as Bollywood’s first zombie film. I know zombies are by definition fictitious, dead and determinedly brainless, but after watching this movie, I worried about their feelings. I think they got a raw deal. Hindi cinema owes them one.
The first 40 minutes of this amateurish flick are more like a Luke Kenny home video. Playing Neil, a wildlife photographer, he is in every frame, sleeping, bathing, fighting with his live-in girlfriend who walks out on him because he is too immersed in his work. Next, Neil heads into the hills, where he lives the solitary life, taking pictures and raising a toast to Mother Nature, who, he declares, is the best company. Not quite. Soon Neil is bitten by a bizarre buzzing insect, develops nasty red boils on his arm and turns into a zombie.
He starts out eating ants, quickly graduating to lizards, dogs and eventually people. Meanwhile nobody in the village notices that people are disappearing and Neil himself never thinks to consult a doctor. Neil’s conversion to cannibal is too tedious to work even as unintentional comedy.
The story is ridiculous and the dialogue, foolish and stilted. Co-directors Kenny and Devaki Singh go from plain boring to flat-out gross. So there are close-ups of Neil chomping on human limbs and, at one point, swallowing an eyeball. Rise of the Zombie ends with the promise of a sequel. Be afraid. Be very afraid.