Z Na­tion

Z- list tele­vi­sion

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - View screen -

At first glance this

apoc­a­lyp­tic zom­bie show looks like Syfy’s an­swer to The Walk­ing Dead – washed out, ul­tra- se­ri­ous and full of sur­pris­ingly good gore. Then the sprightly un­dead tod­dler ap­pears and sud­denly the words “from the company that brought you Shark­nado” start to make a lot more sense. Mock­buster pro­duc­tion stu­dio The Asy­lum is re­spon­si­ble, or rather to blame, for Z Na­tion – a show so aw­ful it should come with its own health warn­ing.

The premise is about as ba­sic and generic as you could pos­si­bly get in a zom­bie story. Lost’s Harold Per­rineau ( the only ac­tor to emerge from the pi­lot with his dig­nity in­tact) plays Ham­mond – a sol­dier tasked with es­cort­ing a pris­oner to Cal­i­for­nia dur­ing the zom­poca­lypse; a pris­oner whose MacGuf­fin blood may hold the key to a cure. Along the way our hero hooks him­self up with a rag tag bunch of strangers, each of whom is ut­terly un­able to make the turgid di­a­logue sound re­motely con­vinc­ing.

The joy of The Asy­lum’s trashy TV movies is that you can have a good gig­gle at their aw­ful pro­duc­tion val­ues, per­for­mances and plot­ting for 75 min­utes and then move on with your life, never to give Mega Python Vs Ga­toroid or Almighty Thor a sec­ond thought. Z Na­tion is a 13- part se­ries that en­ter­tains for barely 13 seconds in its first episode. And per­haps that’s be­ing gen­er­ous to its charms.

What’s most sad is that there is plenty of room on the sched­ules for a great zom­bie show to be made that doesn’t take it­self too se­ri­ously. One with the lu­natic imag­i­na­tion of Re­turn Of The Liv­ing Dead, or Cap­com’s strap-a- chain­sawto-an- oar Dead Ris­ing games. Hu­mour and zom­bies are not mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive. Sadly Z Na­tion is not that show. Not even re­motely.

At times it threat­ens to spring into life – a character choos­ing a spiky base­ball bat over a gun, the stupid yet mo­men­tar­ily bril­liant zom­bie baby – but th­ese brief cute mo­ments are never enough to con­vince you it’s a show that’s worth stick­ing with. Avoid like the ( zom­bie) plague. Jor­dan Far­ley

A show so bad you could say he’s, er, scarred for life.

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