Z NA­TION The Wink­ing Dead

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Re­views -

re­leased OUT NOW! 2014 | 18 | Blu-ray/dVd Cre­ators Karl schae­fer, Craig en­gler Cast Kel­lita smith, dJ Qualls, Michael Welch, Keith al­lan

A cut-price zom­bie show pro­duced by knock-off spe­cial­ists The Asy­lum? Doesn’t sound promis­ing. But while it never ex­cels, Z Na­tion is con­sis­tently en­ter­tain­ing.

That’s largely be­cause it has a mis­sion arc, as a group of sur­vivors travel from New York to Cal­i­for­nia to de­liver a guy car­ry­ing a zom­bie vac­cine to a gov­ern­ment lab. This means that ev­ery week there are new lo­ca­tions and new threats.

Self-aware in tone, in some ways it feels like a throw­back to Romero’s zom­bie movies. Ge­orge loves his nov­elty zom­bies and gory ef­fects “gags”, and Z Na­tion does too; it’s al­ways look­ing for new ways to en­ter­tain, be it Amish zom­bies or death by food-mixer. And in sar­donic, self-serv­ing vac­cinecar­rier Mur­phy it has a bril­liant char­ac­ter, one whose emerg­ing zom­bie-whis­per­ing abil­i­ties are fresh and in­ter­est­ing.

It can’t com­pete with The Walk­ing Dead in the emo­tional stakes, and some­times its at­tempts to make your in­ner Butthead mut­ter, “Huh-huh, cool,” are a shade too dumb. But it beats 80% of di­rect-to-video zom­bie movies.

Ex­tras A Mak­ing Of and pieces on the make-up and ex­plo­sions/CGI ef­fects/score (38 min­utes); zom­bie kills mon­tage; gag reel. Ian Ber­ri­man

Be­fore he won the role of Mur­phy, ac­tor Keith Al­lan was work­ing at The Asy­lum as their stage man­ager.

Ig­nored once again, Wardrobe sunk into deeper de­pres­sion.

Eight

truck sales­peo­ple was push­ing it.

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