Weekly Review: Re-Kill (2015)

Five years after the zombie outbreak decimated 85% of the world’s population, a specialized unit known as the R-Division polices the remaining zombies in hopes of preventing a second outbreak.

This movie was recommended to me by my brother, who knows I like watching zombie movies, regardless of how good they are. Upon doing a bit of research, I found that this movie was included in After Dark Film’s ‘8 Films to Die For’ brand. The production on it apparently started back in 2010, and the film was completed in 2012, before waiting for release in October 2015.

That’s definitely a long wait, and without this wait, the movie probably would have been received better. The year 2010 sparked the initial “comeback” of zombie popularity with the success of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Had Re-Kill been released during this time period, as it was probably originally intended, I think it would have been a decent hit. Unfortunately, coming out in 2015, now that the zombie fever has receded, Re-Kill finds itself surrounded by viewers who are expecting to see something new come to the table, something they’ve never seen before.

While Re-Kill doesn’t exactly deliver the new, never-seen-before type action sequences, it does bring an interesting format to the table. The movie plays out like an extended episode of Cops, if the cops were tracking zombies (referred to as Re-Ans in the movie).

This aspect is what really stood out to me the most about Re-Kill. The movie begins with a little girl coming home from school, eventually sitting down and flipping through the stations until she lands on “R-Division, Frontline.” Before she lands on this show, we see a bunch of different commercials, news programs, and the like, detailing the world that this movie is set in, that of a post-zombie outbreak.

Apparently, “R-Division, Frontline” is the #1 show in post-zombie outbreak America, and throughout Re-Kill, the viewer is watching it as if they were actually watching it on television, complete with commercials. These commercials are definitely something I want to address in a bit because they’re brilliant. The camera operators involved in “R-Division, Frontline” reveal that the show is aired live with a two hour delay, so that keeps the movie feeling in the moment for the most part.

As for the chronological part of the story, as I mentioned, it plays out like an episode of Cops. There are several characters, but being a zombie movie, they are never entirely fleshed out because many of them don’t last long. At times, their one-dimensional personalities can be annoying. I will admit that much. I didn’t have much of a problem with the actors playing the characters though.

The characters go through a variety of situations that end up leading them to “the zone,” an area where the surviving Re-Ans have been quarantined. This is inevitably where the story picks up in intensity and where the body count really starts to rise. It’s also where the story starts making the least amount of sense.

Now, I mentioned the commercials earlier. They’re brilliant. They really are. I found them very reminiscent of the 1980’s Robocop. The majority of the commercials are like PSAs, advocating sex to repopulate America. There are other small segments called “I Survived” that give little stories about where random people were when the zombie outbreak first happened. There are other commercials for drugs to stop infection and for cigarettes because “they won’t kill you any faster than the Re-Ans will.” Overall, it’s just wild. It definitely sets the tone for what the political and social landscape must be like in a world where a zombie outbreak has happened.

The one negative thing that I will say about the commercials is that, while they are entertaining, they take away from the pacing of the movie. It makes it harder to stay enthused in the story when it’s constantly being interrupted. This, in addition to the fact that the overall plot of the movie doesn’t cover anything new, would be the only reason I wouldn’t outright recommend the movie.

For the most part, I always enjoy an entertaining zombie movie, and I was entertained during Re-Kill, so if you enjoy zombie movies, you might like this one. The format being like an episode of Cops is interesting, and it doesn’t run on too long, sitting at a little less than 90 minutes. If you’re less interested in the carnage of zombie movies, and more interested about how the world would work in a post-apocalyptic zombie setting, then this might intrigue you. I’m just glad to see that the ‘8 Films to Die For’ is still a thing, bringing us hidden gems like this.

Rather than include a trailer at the end of this review, I’ll include a clip from the beginning of the movie. The trailer doesn’t do a good job at showcasing what you’ll see, and this clip provides an accurate look at the camera work you can expect to see throughout the majority of the movie.



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