Whenever I find a film borderline incomprehensible, I tend to have a quick read around to make sure that what little I did understand is correct, before coming here and making an ass of myself by describing totally the wrong film.
This week, while it turned out i was right about the plot, it seems there are some bloody good reasons for my confusion.
It seems that, having already been fleashed out by one writer from another writers treatment, the director then decided it needed further changes; but rather than having them written, he just haphazardly filmed stuff that he thought might be useful, then tried to turn it into a cohesive movie in editing, THEN had a second unit film some more sequences (mostly gore shots) and edit them in, AND threw in some documentary footage from a previously released mondo
This checkered history probably goes some way to explaining the go-nowhere terrorist sub-plot; following a chemical plant leek at the begging of the movie, a terrorist group pops up demanding the closure of the so-called "Hope-centers" (the chemical plants), only to be massacred 2 minutes later by a team of military types and never mentioned again.
The aforementioned chemical leak is responsible for a horde of oddly colored zombies; Mostly purple and brown, although they settle down to a consistent pale blue after about half way through the movie.
Come to think of it; odd skin hues are a bit of a theme; this guy is still alive and well (not even infected):
So, With the Zombie origin explained, We meet due of documentary film makers in the Jungle who, before long, form an uneasy alliance with the military types who took out the terrorists.
Wait a minute... Documentary film makers... Jungle... This is starting to sound like a cannibal movie!
Yup, almost the entire center third of the film has the look and feel of a standard cannibal flick; right down to the mixed moral messages - being preachy about sensationalism one minute, and using prolonged gross-out scenes and exploitative documentary footage the next, we see a tribal funeral. The female journalist at this point demonstrates the only reason (or rather, the only two reasons) shes in the film, as she strips down and dons body paint to gain the trust of one of the tribes.
Thanks to the "borrowed" nature of the footage, the look of the tribe switches from shot to shot, so we get everything from lip-disks, to intricate make-up, to Frank Sidebottom
, all in a single 60 second stretch, supposedly featuring the same tribe.
The whole point of the (real) tribal funeral, is to tell us that the tribe doesn't bury or burn its dead; which handily brings us back to zombie movie territory, just in time for our heroes to reach a (formally) populated area.
More attempts at social commentary are made, as we drop in on a UN meating which has been called to address the Zombie problem currently affecting Africa's tribal populations, and the African delegates are virtually the only attendees.
The whole thing is, as I have mentioned, a confused mess; on top of that the acting is so over the top that I'm not 100% certain that they wern't going for parody!
You know you have problems when your
zombie extras cant keep a straight face...
The film's one saving grace was the stolen Goblin soundtrack, which lifts tracks from Contaminated and Dawn of the Dead (the latter being literally stolen - the rights were never cleared, and Goblin almost sued)
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for this movie.