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Zombie Nation

Directed by Ulli Lommel

Written by Ulli Lommel

Starring Gunter Ziegler, Brandon Dean, Axel Montgomery, Phil Lander

Produced by Nola Roeper, Ulli Lommel

Rated R

82 minutes

*

Ulli Lommel makes a zombie film this time around, and manages to do more damage to the genre than anyone before him. And what Ulli’s dug up this time involves a serial killing cop who’s got a thing for the young ladies. It’s especially useful that his old army buddies down at the precinct are always so willing to cover for him! Just as our killer cop thinks he’s in serial killer heaven, he lands what will prove to be his last victim.

You may be wondering—I know I was—what if anything this has to do with zombies. After all, in a movie called “Zombie Nation,” with what is clearly a zombie on the cover, you’re expecting a whole monster assload of walking dead. But since Ulli Lommel, who is rapidly becoming direct-to-video’s biggest disappointment (for reference, go get a copy of “Black Dahlia,” or one of 2006’s contenders for “Biggest Lack of Taste,” “The BTK Killer”), can’t actually seem to make anything make much sense, there will be an astonishing lack of zombies in the Zombie Nation. In fact, there will be all of a half dozen, and it’s going to take over half of the movie to even see one.

First, wonder of wonders, the title crawl. Most times, you expect a quick shot of the title, or maybe a little animation to with it. Maybe the letters are built out of slashes just for jollies, okay. But in this case, the letters are actually so big, they won’t fit on one screen. Rather, we get a series of four, and if we took the title crawl literally, the movie’s real title is “Ulli Lommel’s Zom Bie Na Tion.”

Being that it’s an Ulli Lommel movie, we’re not going to get through this miserable wreckage without torture aplenty. I don’t know what kind of issues this man has, but his body of work is so utterly laden with pointless torture sequences. It’s almost painful to watch this stuff. Oh, and speaking of painful—for some reason, Ulli himself is actually in this movie, playing the role of “Dr. Melnitz.” He almost manages to say absolutely nothing but the same line, “Is it safe?,” for his entire appearance. He does manage to break out, “Childhood memories” and “Paranoiac infantilism. We will meet twice a week.” to mix it up a bit, but still, it’s pretty sad.

The ending is a mishmash of speedy torture, a last-minute plot element that’s never resolved and actually manages to leave the door open for a sequel to this godawful waste of time.

The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, a commentary track, closed captioning, and trailers for “Zombie Nation,” “The Descent,” “House of Blood,” “Dark Harvest 3: Scarecrow,” “A Dead Calling,” and “The Kumite.”

All in all, Ulli Lommel, you’re on notice—another movie like this tripe and you’re going to surpass Joe Castro on my list of crimes against filmgoers.

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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