Movie: Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane (2007)
Director: Scott Thomas
Starring: David Chisum, Richard Tyson, Erick Avari
Written by: Sidney Iwanter, Mark Onspaugh, Scott Thomas
Wow. This movie does not screw around when it comes to stating its purpose. The long and overly clever name says it all; this is pretty much Snakes on a Plane with zombies. Yet this airborne setting, which works for a terror story about our serpent friends, is a ridiculous circus when playing host to the living dead. I know that filmmakers like to pretend that airplanes are gigantic labyrinths where heroes and villains can spin kick in the aisles, but flight is more often than not an exercise in claustrophobia. A venomous snake loose among the humans and slithering and squeezing through the plane’s hidden passages is terrifying. A big dumb bitey human trying those same horror jump moves in such a space is idiotic. But they tried. Someone had to.
Actually, what happens is the zombies tear a giant ass hole from beneath the walkway, and then hordes of the living dead spew from this cavern to chew on the living. Which is funny, because before the outbreak, there seemed to be about 20 people on the flight – and not a screaming child among them. Were the dead breeding down in that formless, infinite chasm beneath the passengers? No one can say.
Of course, the straights aren’t going to take this undead invasion in their locked and upright positions. After the douchebags, stewardesses, and one well-dressed old Japanese guy get weeded out, those who advance to the lightning round band together to, well, shimmy through (giant) crawlspaces and throw zombies out airlocks. I guess I would have liked one of them to throw caution to the wind and light up a cigarette, but these characters are barely hanging on as it is.
Among our contestants is professional Val Kilmer impersonator Richard Tyson playing a dick in a beret, improbably revealing himself to be an armed dick in a beret. There’s also a Tiger Woods clone who, as his bitchy wife looks on disapprovingly, struts around with his lucky putter. You know, because he’s a golfer.
If there are good characters in the film, they would be the laid-back federal agent and his captured quarry, whose back-and-forth is as lively as this film gets. Additionally, the evil scientist played by professional Ben Kingsley impersonator Erick Avari slides from sneering opportunist to raving victim with a maximum of presence. His character is largely a plot point, but Avari owns any scene he appears in – and once he turns to the dark side, his Glasgow smile makes him the leader of the dead.
Yet ultimately, this is another crappy zombie film, with the added distinction of having no spatial awareness whatsoever. Worse, there’s no Samuel L. Jackson screaming about those motherfucking zombies on his motherfucking plane.
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