Even with a title like this, you wouldn’t expect the movie to basically shit itself in the first scene, which happens to be a fictitious commercial for an endangered species zoo called “Eden Wildlife Zoo”, an advertisment that looks it was made in Windows Movie Maker… in the early 2000’s, by people that barely knew what a computer was.
I can’t stress how childish and amauterish this is, even for The Asylum, who in this case must have allocated 100 bucks for editing and production, combined, given how much animal footage seems just ripped from free libraries or used what one of the employee recorded when it took a family trip to the zoo. It looks like they’re playing a joke, but they’re not, and in the first 2 minutes they already shit down their own pants. But fear not, the CG monkeys you seen in the first 5 minutes are somehow worse, i – almost – can’t believe it. I’ve seen snippets from Primal Park, so i can’t really call it “the worst”, but still, it’s really shitty regardless, almost impressively so.
Often i joke about Asylum CG being so cheap it resembles the one seen in late PS1/early PS2 era videogames…. but the monkey are digital, and they look like absolute dreck, they really do look like they should be in House Of The Dead 3. Did they literally make this one with the spare change found in their sofas?
It this a Zoo Race asset flip for non-videogame purposes?
The plot concerns a disease spreading through the primates of the aforementioned Eden Wildlife Zoo, that also turns out to make deceased monkeys (with the help of ol’ adrenaline shots) come back to life in a feral, zombie like state. They attack the staff and infect the other animals of the zoo with the virus, resulting in an undead wildlife rampage. To save the day we have a malingering collection of fairly obnoxious student stereotypes (the phone ossessed bitchy girl, the asian, the ODC photographing everything always, and the bird maniac, who isn’t a cliche itself, but it might as well be) that went for a private visit before the zoo opens to the public.
Is this the obvious Jurassic Park and Day Of The Animals (both movies you should be watching instead of this) rip-off it seems, just with them zombified for good measure? YES.
Does the movie namedrops Jurassic Park, breaking the law of not mentioning a better movie during your crappy movie? YES, alongside lazy self-aware dialogue like this “you watch too many horror movies” when suggesting something got way out of hand in the lab, unsure to even trust their own shitty jokes so they play the pity card preemptively .
This – alongside the embarassing opening scene – would be enough for many to crucify Zoombies…. and its not like the movie doesn’t incite such behaviour, because the special effects are both often complete ass AND inconsistent in quality or integration. For example, you can easily tell they keep jumping around between using a gorilla suit, a very bad CG gorilla… and another render that looks different from the other CG gorilla, but also looks way better.
Of course, i understand using CG for a movie like this, i’ve seen enough real animal deaths on film, but this method of just mashing various types of visual effects is random, distracting, absurd, so much one would think they kinda did it on purpose. But no, it’s just they clearly had less budget than usual, and that’s saying something for an Asylum affair, even as a direct-to-video production.
Sometimes the effects are kinda of acceptable, but most of the time the CG looks on par with the very low abysses of Mega Shark VS Crocosaurus, before it becomes even worst, tumbling over into Birdemic territory (if James Nguyen invested in higher quality birb gifs) with the worst offender being the zipline scene, it’s painfully transparent they used a cheap ass green screen, so obvious is the best and worst part of the movie, with a frigging hilarious ultra goofy death.
This still doesn’t explain the scene where the security squad is attacked by the monkeys in the lab, and for a brief minute, we go from the crap ass CG monkeys to a stuffed animals that the actors hold against themselveshimself, like it’s the fucking Zuni fetish dolls from Trilogy of Terror.
Acting is overall mediocre, but acceptable as far as this tier of movies go, i could nitpick, but overall i’ve seen so much worse it’s not worth going in any further detail. Characters are not as annoying as they seem to be from their presentation, and sometimes they’re actually kinda likeable, even if takes them doing very stupid things like going out to save the only surviving specimen of a rare gorilla sub-species, but overall their not a bunch of complete assholes…. whick kinda works against the exploitative nature of the film as a whole, but let’s not split hairs.
In favor of the movie, it takes less than 30 minutes to reach the lab and actually move the story forward, and it does so by spending time with the less annoying characters, mostly, so it doesn’t move along the narrative fast, but it’s not completely sluggish in this regard. Not fast moving or totally enthralling either, but at least Glenn Miller’s direction keep things going without slipping into a random 10 minute scene of “striped bikini for ocelots” just to pad up this thing up even more.
On the plus side, it’s fairly gory, with a monkey bursting out a doctor’s body, monkey ripping off someone’ eyes and throwing them around, an eagle literally nests into a lady’s torn stomach, etc, so there is something there for the gorehounds. Even if the gore itself is mostly digital and looks like ass in any shape or form, and the movie edits around (sometimes very awkwardly to boot) showing most of the kills and stuff like SWAT VS undead lions, but i guess they need to keep open the possibility for another feature, can’t do it all in one single film, you never know when SyFy will need to pad out some slow weeks. Months. Years.
As far as the animal zombie variety, we got monkey zombies, giraffe zombies, elephant zombies, lion zombies, koala zombies, gorilla zombies, elephant zombies, hippo zombies… They mostly look like ass, but they’re there, undeniable.
Overall, Zoombies it’s utter crap as you can imagine, and also cheaper than usual, very cheap even for an Asylum production. But it’s kinda watchable, and if anything it delivers on the title, even if it’s no excuse. It ain’t.
Still, it’s more watchable in a “i don’t wanna care too much about what i’m watching, and i’m not gonna miss anything if i occasionally check Twitter for a few seconds now and then” sense, i would have gladly shaven 10 minutes off of it, but i have forced myself to sit through far worse.
Very mild even for just killing time, but it’s not excruciantly slow or completely boring, and regardless, it manages to recover from the pathetic – bordering on the unbelievably laughable – opening scene, ending with sequel bait… which actually wasn’t completely random, this actually got a sequel.
3 years later, but still, so might as well review that too.