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Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane

Directed by Scott Thomas

Written by Sidney Iwanter, Mark Onspaugh

Starring David Chisum, Kevin J. O’Connor, Kristen Kerr, Raymond Berry

Produced by David Shoshan, Scott Thomas

Not Rated

94 minutes


Okay…”Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane” sounds like a horrible, horrible idea. Like someone at New Line decided, several months too late, to cash in on the surprising success of “Snakes on a Plane.”

Meanwhile, “Flight of the Living Dead” seems to be mostly about a flight about to be overrun by zombies due to a highly unauthorized, illegal, immoral, etc. project currently in the cargo hold. Which is about what you’d expect out of something like this—I kept wondering if I was going to hear “trioxin” or “venus probe” referenced first.

Oh, and as it turns out…it’s going to be malaria that’s the impetus this time around. I’ve heard everything from mad cow disease to flesh-eating bacteria responsible for making zombies, and eventually they’re going to get down to like the mutant common cold or something. Within the next twenty years, at this rate, someone’s going to stub their toe and kick off Zombie Apocalypse.

Augh! I’ve got a hangnail and the damndest…craving for…braaaaaains!

Despite the sheer unoriginality of the work, there’s actually quite a lot to be said for “Flight of the Living Dead”. One, despite the fact that there isn’t any real zombie action (except for the first one, briefly seen) for the first half-hour, they still manage to keep things up and moving via the simple expedient of having the plane go through a hellacious thunderstorm. Also, they threw in several smaller subplots—some infidelity among couples, a prisoner in transport—to spice things up a little amidst all the zombie action. That, and a truly hyperkinetic last half of the film is really going to ratchet things up nicely. People are getting lunched up left, right and center on this sucker and it’s actually pretty amazing.

The down side on this movie is fairly extensive—logic suffers horribly as the characters will fire off a panoply of nine-millimeter rounds and never manage to puncture the hull or cause a loss of cabin pressure. Zombies are easily identifiable by the contact lenses they’ve all been given to wear, and I don’t really think a plane’s floor should be so thin it can be punched through by the recently deceased.

Meanwhile, the zombies themselves are wrong for all sorts of reasons. They talk, they run, they jump, they create cogent ambushes—all things actual zombies really should not do. There is only one real zombie, all right? That is the zombie created by George Romero himself, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

Romero is the real zombie maker. Everyone else is just a sad little imitation.

The ending is actually even more frenzied than the first half, and will even have a little bit of humor in it.

The special features include DVD-ROM features, several audio commentary tracks, an outtake reel, and trailers for “Full of It,” “The Butterfly Effect 2,” “Believers,” and for some reason, the game “Flatout: Ultimate Carnage.”

All in all, “Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane” is a fair little excursion into the world of zombie apocalypses. While it’s certainly not the best, it’s far from the worst, and that’s saying something. What else is worth saying is that it will prove, especially for zombie fans, to be worth a rental.

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.

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