Ving Rhames in Familiar Territory with ‘Zombie Apocalypse’

It seems like there is never a shortage of zombie films coming out. A few end up being a new take on an old concept. “Zombieland” and “Shaun of the Dead” come to mind. Then you get stuck with more that seem unnecessary and unwanted. There are way too many of those to list here. Then there’s the middle ground between good and bad. It’s a place I tend to call The Asylum. Why do I choose that name to call this gray area? It’s the name of the production company that releases some of the greatest “so bad, it’s good” genre movies out there.

In a nutshell, The Asylum Entertainment are the guys that release what have become known as “mockbusters.” They’re cheap knock-off versions of a new blockbuster that has just hit the big screen. It’s made on a very low budget with actors who have fallen out of the good graces of Hollywood or are just “cruisin’ for a bruisin’” as they say. They might be known to punish themselves for unknown reasons. A fine example of this is “Almighty Thor,” which hit the streets within a day or two of Marvel’s “Thor.” The Asylum’s “Almighty Thor” had one thing the Marvel’s “Thor” didn’t, though. It had Richard Grieco as Loki. Top that, Marvel Entertainment!

With all that background explanation out of the way let’s get back into the zombie news. The Asylum Entertainment is releasing what looks to be one of the worst excuses for a zombie film ever. The zombie make-up alone is an atrocity. It’s entitled “Zombie Apocalypse” and revolves around a group of survivors who have lived through a plague that wiped out 90 percent of the American population. They’re trying to make their way to the island of Catalina, which is rumored to be a plague-free refuge.

Sounds just like every other zombie film ever put out. It’s very reminiscent of the plot of George A. Romero’s latest “Survival of the Dead” movie. The group of survivors looking for refuge stems from recent living dead big hits like “Zombieland” and “The Walking Dead.”

One actor that is no stranger to battling zombies is Ving Rhames, who is back at it again in “Zombie Apocalypse.” He has brawled with the brain-eaters before in Zack Snyder’s remake “Dawn of the Dead” and in another Romero redo of “Day of the Dead.” I would have thought by now that Rhames would know how to steer clear of the hungry and mindless undead.

A bizarre yet entertaining group of actors joins Rhames in “Zombie Apocalypse”. First, we have Taryn Manning who many know from “Hawaii 5-O.” Then there’s Lesley-Ann Brandt from “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.” I don’t know how, but producers tricked Asian actor Ziyi Zhang into being in this. She has been in big movies like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Hero,” and “Rush Hour 2.” Last, but certainly not least, we have “My Name is Earl” actor Eddie Steeples. Remember Darnell from the show? Now he’s a zombie killer.

“Zombie Apocalypse” was directed by Nick Lyon (“Species: The Awakening”).It was written by Craig Engler and Brooks Peck. The movie is scheduled to be released on December 27, 2011.

For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:

Zombies Beware! Alice is Back for ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’
‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ Not a Ghost Story
Interview with ‘Final Destination 5′ Actor Miles Fisher

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