Film Monthly Home
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
Corpses Are Forever
Directed by Jose Prendes
Written by Jose Prendes
Starring Jose Prendes, Richard Lynch, Linnea Quigley, Conrad Brooks
Produced by Jose Prendes
The zombie movie makes its splashy, crashy reappearance following a brief hiatus, now measurable in picoseconds (and for those of you who don’t habla, picoseconds are 1 / 1 billionths of a second, or how long Britney Spears’ first marriage lasted. Specifically, EIGHT picoseconds.).
But they’ve been on a real roll lately, with quality that can only be described as hit-and-miss. From utterly smashing zombie survival horror / comedy Shaun of the Dead, to the utterly faithless but fair in its own right Dawn of the Dead theatrical re-release, to the utterly without hope Zombies Vs. Vampires, to the utterly surprisingly good Japanese import Junk, it’s been a real mixed bag for zombie nuts lately.
Corpses Are Forever, from newcomer The Asylum, takes a run at being of the better class.
First off, kudos to Corpses Are Forever for its fantastic opening menu, that parodies the classic James Bond films with its clever moving-sight visual. This is funny stuff right here, and terribly original.
What we’ve got here is the story of Malcolm Grant, a CIA agent who just suddenly for some reason woke up and discovered that the gates of Hell had opened on earth. Which is, by itself, the single most original impetus for a zombie movie yet. Normally, it’s a virus or biological agent reanimating corpses. I have yet to see demons responsible. But anyway, there are now hordes of corpses walking the earth, and Malcolm’s got to try and fix things by wandering through and experiencing (via a complicated chemical process) the memories of a dead serial killer, which contain the necessary information on how to save the planet and most of the folks on it.
Okay…that right there gets me. I mean, we’re trending into some ridiculous ground plotwise. It started off with some excellent innovation and I give Corpses Are Forever all the credit I can for that, but it just couldn’t seem to hold it together. But it’s not all about plot, it’s also about execution.
And the opening ten minutes are a real surprise. This is ORIGINAL. It’s James Bond with ZOMBIES. No one’s done this before, and I’m incredibly pleased with it. Check out the film style they’re using, too…just MORE originality on their part.
Although the fight scenes, especially like those at the fifteen minute mark, are such obvious fakes that occasionally the impact sound effects don’t match the moment of “contact” on the punches and kicks.
The George Romero influence is heavy throughout, but nowhere more so than at the nineteen minute mark. Check it out and see why.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment about Corpses are Forever is the fact that, while there’s plenty of “The Cell”-esque memory crawling going on, there’s almost NO ZOMBIES. I mean, come on! They hawk zombies Television like there’s no tomorrow and then they show up for ten, fifteen minutes of footage? Talk about your disappointments.
And yet, somehow, despite all this, Corpses are Forever still manages to be a fairly satisfying endeavor. As a spy thriller, it’s solidly done. As a horror movie, it’s a little on the lower end. But put together, it works.
The ending is a cinematic slush pile that leaves more questions than answers, and disappoints on several levels. The plot is left largely unresolved, and with good reason…there’s going to be a sequel.
The title? Why, what else but “The Corpse Who Loved Me.”
I don’t know whether to be roaringly amused or soaked with sweaty dread. This was, quite possibly, one of the most outlandish yet incredibly original yet shoddily done movies I’ve seen YET. I can’t even categorize what I’ve just seen, and I’m a professional humorist. Is it horror? Maybe. Comedy? Could be. A spy thriller? Sure, why not?
Even more interestingly, check out the outtakes over the closing credits.
The special features include director’s commentary and a mind-jarringly boring featurette called “Welcome to Linnea’s”, involving Linnea Quigley and her cats showing you around Linnea’s house for reasons that defy all logic. Plus, we get trailers for “Vampires Vs. Zombies,” “Insight of Evil,” “Pandora Machine,” and the producer’s trailer for “Corpses Are Forever.”
All in all, Corpses are Forever is a surprisingly original, yet shoddily done, film that truly makes you wonder just what’s going on over at The Asylum. It’s fairly enjoyable, and only technical glitches and a couple disappointments in the script keep it from aspiring to the highest calibre of movie.
Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.
Got a problem? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org