Dead Rising: Watchtower (2015)

March 31, 2015 - 7:56pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: action, Aleks Paunovic, based on game, Contradiction Films, Crackle, Dead Rising, Dennis Haysbert, Harley Morenstein, Jesse Metcalfe, Keegan Connor Tracey, Legendary Digital Media, Meghan Ory, Rob Riggle, Tim Carter, Virginia Madsen, Zach Lipovsky, Zombie Movies

Your rating: None Average: 6.5 (8 votes)
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Zach Lipovsky
Dennis Haysbert, Jesse Metcalfe, Virginia Madsen, Meghan Ory, Rob Riggle, Harley Morenstein, Keegan Connor Tracey, Aleks Paunovic

Based on the hit video game series, Dead Rising takes place well into the zombie apocalypse, where (much like the games) a vaccine called Zombrex is used to slow down the transformation of those infected. The movie follows Jesse Metcalfe as an overzealous online journalist named Chase, who goes into the quarantine zone looking to score some exclusive news. Instead, he finds himself in the middle of another outbreak when the Zombrex fails and people become infected anyway. With the virus quickly spreading, the quarantine zone is shut down leaving Chase and a few other survivors to fend for themselves against not only zombies, but a large group of deranged bikers. Meanwhile, the military decides that they must bomb the area (shocker), giving the group and any other survivors only 48 hours to get the F out. 

This could've easily aired on the SyFy channel, because it's just that kind of cheesy, shitty film. In fact, it was pretty much doomed from the start with the news that it would premiere on the online distribution platform Crackle (proving the producers didin't think very highly of this to begin with) and also with the fact that they hired Zach Lipovsky of Leprechaun: Origins fame to direct. Congrats guys! You just got a dude that directed one of the worst horror films in recent history to helm this. In all fairness, the flick did turn out slightly better than I expected, but my expectations were REALLY low. I mean, it's somewhat entertaining at times if you ignore the asinine and predictable storyline and there's an okay amount of blood, but we don't get to see much gore until near the halfway mark.

The movie clocks in at nearly two hours, which is rare for a zombie flick, but part of that is due to all the break markers where every 20-or-so minutes the viewer gets a break from the story to be given a faux news broadcast where an anchorwoman talks to Frank West (fans may remember him as the protagonist from the first game). It turns out that the movie acknowledges Frank as a real person whom survived the events of the game. Played by comedian Rob Riggle, these brief segments are actually my favorite parts of the movie, because they're actually amusing and short enough to not feel too repetitive.

As for the look of the zombies they are pretty standard and (aside from a few) don't really offer much to distinguish themselves from one another. On another note, fans of the source material will be pleased to see that there are quite a few nods to the games and I have to admit that if I hadn't played the games I probably wouldn't have found the movie to be as entertaining.

Fans of the games may find the flick somewhat entertaining, but on its own it's nothing we haven't already seen before in better and more compact ways (the film is two hours by the way).

Author Information

FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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