Today i’m gonna ask you a question, answer sincerely.
Who exactly asked for a Zoombies 3?
I’m not even being sarcastic, i’m genuinely curious because i’m pretty sure most people that at least saw the first Zoombies didn’t knew it had a “sequel” to begin with. This is not a series that has anything as a following, as far as i understand.
But yes, this is actually the third movie in the Zoombies trilogy, despite the title.
It’s not that there are NO connections, as it’s directed by Glenn Miller, who did direct Zoombies and Zoombies 2, it features an ensemble of animals that get turned undead in a facility (not a zoo this time, but close enough), it’s produced by The Asylum yet again, and it’s written by Marc Gottlieb, also responsable for penning Asylum movies like Planet Of The Sharks and Triassic World.
There’s no reason to actually get into the plot, because it’s just what you expect from the title and/or could guess at random: an incident turns an aquarium’ animals into the undead. There’s a senator visiting the place (NOT a mayor, let’s make it clear), and a dude doing a VIP visit when the incident happens, and there is a bit more to it, it is explained by the end, but nothing worthy of much note.
To be fair, aside from a coffe mug bearing the logo of the Eden Wildlife Zoo, where the first Zoombies took place, there is a character from that one, Ellen, who warns the aquarium’s people that they must destroy all the shipment received from their zoo, so this is indeed a sequel to Zoombies and Zoombies 2, and we don’t have to wait until the last scene to find out this time.
Obviosly these idiots don’t care to confirm that they destroyed all the infected stuff, but thumbs up to the Asylum and Gleen Miller for caring enough about some kind of continuity. Thumbs down for the screenwriter not being able to resist randomly referencing Sharkenado because it’s an Asylum movie, the company does it every fucking time, even in Jumanji mockbusters. It’s old, and boring, i don’t care if you say it knowing it’s a – and i quote – “boomer joke”, it’s still tiresome and tired.
The effects for the zombified/infected animals are a notch or two better, WAY less fake-looking than the ones in the previous Zoombies titles, sometimes even quite decent looking . they keep on using a lot of footage of real animals but at least here it makes sense for the scenario, it would have been weirder if they CG even the animals you can simply easily record from a real aquarium.
Still, i could have done without the fake ass CG glass break effect, come on.
The main attraction remains – like before – seeing a lot of undead version of animals, and in that regard you get your money’s worth, with zombie dolphins, zombie octopus, zombi piranhas, zombi crocs, even zombi sea otters. Shame it’s one of those creature feature flicks that have the outbreak happen a bit faster than usual, leaving to more sequences of the characters doing back and forth the same 3/4 locations over and over for a, in a movie already limited by budget in this regard.
Apparently it was shot in less than a week during the 2020 pandemic but released in May 2021, and from the way some of the characters interact only via Zoom calls, it makes sense, more sense than actors that share the same scene having their dialogues recorded at wildly different volumes, like the intro for the senator and his secretary, one sounding almost like she swallowed a boom mic, the other like he’s a bit too far away from it, despite both character being VERY close to each other.
Unlike Zoombies 2 which was a complete waste of time, there is some entertaiment to be squeezed out of Aquarium Of The Dead, the fxs are generally better than before (for the Zoombies series, at least), and there are a lot of decent to good actors you might actually have seen before roped into a bad and kinda sluggish Asylum flick.
Overall, passable shlock, it’s “fine”, the best one in the “Zoombies” series, but still, doesn’t mean much, mostly just for dedicated genre cinema buffs.