Z- list television
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.