RVM Review – Army Of The Dead

You know what is a tough job? Being a parent. I’m not saying it’s the hardest job in the world. It’s not as hard as being a cop or even an oil rig worker. But it does come with its fair share of grievances and requires careful consideration. For starters, the very idea of bringing another life into this world and you being responsible for it is enough for a person to carefully think through the process. Most of us are in no way ready nor prepared to be parents. Myself included. But I’m full in because my wife and I have three of them! But I’m still not prepared! Whoever thought I could raise a child is absolutely insane because I am the worst shining example of what a human would, could and should be. When I was younger I was the kind of guy that would go days without showering and to check if I really stink or not; I would rub my fingers in the space between my ball sack and my legs known as the ball pit. Sure that’s gross but what was worse is I would sniff my finger to see if I’m ripe or not. Then if the aroma was right, I would finally take that shower! So to have the audacity… the sheer thought of having sex with my wife to spawn a child with the idea “yea, I could be a good dad” is absolute horse shit!

I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. You’re telling me the same guy that still puts half a cup of sugar on his Cinnamon Toast Crunch because “they just aren’t sugary enough” is now authorized to tell a growing child what they can consume? I once tried popping a beer bottle cap with my eye socket and shredded the shit out of myself because the bottle cap wasn’t even a twist and pull! So now I have this responsibility to make sure my son doesn’t do stupid shit and get hurt.

I can’t be the source of common sense for my children. I used to look up to Johnny Knoxville. When I take them to the doctors and I show up to the front desk… I can’t even remember the name of the doctor my kid is supposed to be seeing. “He’s a doctor” is the only input I can remember. I can feel the bitchy moms behind me staring and it really makes them cringe when I ask my own seven year old if he knows the name of his doctor. That’s like asking a six hundred pound person where the closest treadmill is.

I’m not capable of taking care of myself let alone a kid! I think I’m going insane. Why does my son keep asking me what his mother and I are doing in the bedroom with the door shut? Why can’t he just remain blissfully ignorant of the… sounds. The oldest girl just gets bigger and… I don’t know how to tell her she needs to stop cause I know eventually I am going to have to kill some teenage boy that has the hots for her. But I’m supposed to be ‘rational’ as a dad. How can I be rational when I scream at the television every time my New York Giants lose! The Giants can’t hear me but still I yell! That’s not a rational person.

But somehow I am told that I am a good dad. I don’t know, I guess it’s about the love. Everything as a parent sort of falls into place. You may drop them every once in a while or say “suck my balls” in front of them… which then gets repeated in school. Which then lands you in a teacher parent conference. But you work through it all and many times your kids surprise you. Making you feel good that you had some hand to play in them not turning out to be a psycho. Every parent is afraid of their kid being the next school shooter. If you don’t have kids then ask a parent if it’s true. Some parent will tell you that’s not true but they’re lying. We think about it. I see other parents with kids that I sometimes think to myself “that kid is the next Dahmer” and then I look at the parents and the same thought is written all over their stressed out woeful faces. They know their kid is a cannibal in the making. They see it in his eyes and hear it in his screams whenever he can’t find the right LEGO brick.

But you spend time with them and do all you can to make them laugh. My favorite thing is to act like a zombie and enter their rooms before they go to sleep. It’s always great when your kid flails his legs out from the blanket and catches you straight in the face. But a good dad keeps going regardless of the pain.

Whatever nonsense we as imperfect people do bring to the table of parenting, there is one thing that I believe a good parent can always do and that is being honest with their children. It’s imperative that a parent be upfront in all ways and seek truth with their child. Even if it means delivering the truth when it can even hurt. With that in mind, I truly wish the parents of Zach Snyder had done this to him when he was a young boy.

Seriously how hard could it have been to tell a young Zach, “listen son, you just don’t have it in you to make a good movie.” At least, that was the conclusion I had after watching Netflix’s Army of The Dead. You see what I did there? I gave you some self depreciation! That’s how you comedically burn someone.

You know what is annoying?

Movie reviews. Whenever a new horror movie is released the flood gates of movie reviews come out of the woodwork. I swear there are people writing their reviews for a movie… while they are watching the damn movie! They’re all the same, people like it or people hate it. They offer absolutely no insight into the opinion. Who gives a shit about your five star rating. JUST TELL ME WHAT WAS AWESOME! I don’t care about spoilers. Most likely I saw the movie already and I am just trying to find someone to disagree or agree with. It’s the entire reason the internet exists. To find the same people that have the same maniacal ideas that you have.

But that’s not what I do with my Rear View Mirror Reviews. I like to post about these crappy movies a good while after they’re released. So then all the people can get the fix out of their systems and can actually think with a clear mind. I am upfront from the beginning and will tell you why the movie sucks. I even watch the movie twice so I can scrounge up more shitty reasons to hate it. In fact, that is the entire purpose of RVM Review. To only let you know why I hated the movie.

Throwing It Against The Wall

This movie was released on Netflix, which alone should tell you enough about the potential of this film. Let’s be honest, Netflix isn’t known for it’s movies. They’re too busy pumping cocaine into those Stranger Things kids to keep them looking young.

The movie was directed by Zack Snyder and stars Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, and digital Tig Notaro. It serves as a sequel to Snyders 2004 remake of George Romero’s Dawn of The Dead. WAIT! Who the fuck said Zack Snyder was now in control of the entire Romero zombie series? Was there a vote on this cause I was not made aware. This is an outrage and someone needs to make George Romero aware of this… oh wait… he’s dead. Well someone needs to do something!

The Dumb Plot

The movie is about the zombie outbreak taking place in Las Vegas. Sure, why not? Some king zombie escapes from a military convoy and heads for the city of Lost Wages and proceeds to cash in his chips. The city is entirely taken over and the government builds a wall around it to keep the zombies inside. Also, there is a group of survivors in a camp just outside the city because they are in quarantine? Ok, I guess thats just dumb. Time passes and we are introduced to our main character Scott Ward who is a cook at a diner. He’s asked to assemble a team of badasses to go into the city and retrieve vast amounts of money. He does it and him and his team go in and all zombie chaos ensues. Oh wait, they have to do this because the government is going to nuke the city. So now there is a clicking clock.

So what we have here is a vault heist… in a zombie infested kingdom. Gotcha! Oceans 11 mixed in with The Expendables and zombies. That pretty much sums it up.

First Things First

The title of this movie is completely misleading. The movie is called Army of the Dead but there is never an army! Think about that, let that soak in and then laugh a little. In order for the word “army” to be used, you would have to have an actual army on screen. All the movie gives us is the typical zombies. They don’t have generals, there aren’t even that many! At one point the zombie king is on a horse… which is… real stupid. He even has a wife zombie queen that just seems threatening but in reality is meant for posing and “dramatic effect.” They throw in a few zombies that are faster. Some have… ninja skills and then I guess there are some that are robots. At least that is what I think I saw. When a zombie was shot in the head. You see a blue spark come forth from the bullet hole. After jabbing a pen into my eye socket, I still couldn’t figure it out. But it doesn’t mean anything. None of them work as an army and none of them act in a way that adds as a plot device.

Remember Sam Raimi’s 1992 Army of Darkness? Evil Ash raises the army of the deadites and attacks the castle. He’s on a horse and acting as commander. So he’s barking orders and even communicating with deadite generals. He’s got his hot evil lady next to him as well. He sends the troops out to attack and acts like it was an actual army. There’s even a damn flute playing a war tune! So army in the title Army of Darkness makes absolute sense. But not in Army of The Dead! Listen, along with being a horror fanatic; I am also an avid fantasy fan. I love Lord of the Rings, The Wheel of Time. the Storm Light Archive, Kingkiller Chronicles, The Faithful and the Fallen and Game of Thrones. I’m balls to the wall into this kind of stuff. When a part of the book mentions and army approaching, I know what to expect and Army of The Dead does not do it.

Wasted Potential

But what makes my “no army” point hit home is that there COULD have been an army of dead. When the group gains access into the dead zone, they see piles and piles of dried out corpses scattered all over. There are literally millions of these zombies scattered everywhere. They aren’t moving and remain in a comatose state. The blond lady says that they aren’t a threat unless it rains. So you’re like “yea, I can’t wait to see that shit!” But it never happens and it’s a waste of potential.

Fulfilling That Potential

Imagine if later in the film the group is being chased but fighting off the small hordes with little effort… because they have guns. Loads and loads of guns. So you have the picture in your mind. They’re actually feeling pretty good and assured that they have the victory. So then up ahead comes our King Arthur zombie on his stupid dead horse. The zombie king pulls a hose out… no he orders his minions to bring out hoses. It can be this nice standing on the horizon kind of shot and not one of Snyders bull shit come into focus ones.

From one view you get this cool fast shot where the camera is following the hose to its source. It speeds along the hose trail, swirling far down the Vegas strip. Then reveals that it is connected to a huge water tank or even a firetruck. So the hose shoots out water all over. You can even be a little comical by making it seem like it’s not a big deal. Maybe the characters all stand there with a dead pan stare. I mean, what is so threatening about water? Then as the hoses saturate the dried out zombies, they begin to rise. AHHHH! You see where I am going with this? So then you have the zombie king standing front and center. He points to our group and roars as his troops run hysterical and hungry for flesh. Now there is your actual army.

This would accomplish two things for your stupid movie. One is a plot hole being filled with those dried out zombies. Two is a strategic move that displays an army in action!

Zombies Are Fodder

One of the things I always believe about zombie movies is that it’s set up to be a gore fest. Everyone going into a zombie movie knows what they’re gonna get. It’s just like the Saw series! You go to those movies to see intense blood and gore. Zombies are plentiful and pretty basic horror monsters and that’s what makes them glorious. What you should have with zombie movies is straight up massacre. Killing zombies is meant to be easy and spark creativity. Basically, if you set out to make a zombie flick then you best get your brainstorming cap on. You need to come up with new and interesting ways in killing zombies. If you can’t be creative with the killing then you can be creative with the zombie types. But Army of The Dead is boring as hell and purposely ignores this! In fact, I think it Zack Snyder did this to be a dick because he knows this movie is shit. He knows he is shit! Fuck him and his cut of Justice League that still sucks as bad as the original! He’s an ass hat of a director and I know why.

You may have noticed that the character Vanderhoe carries a concrete cutter which is supposed to be his signature weapon of choice. But he never uses it! When they’re doing those stupid shots of each character “loading up”, Vanderhoe is out in the desert and digs up his cutter. He speaks to it by saying “You ready to play?” Which signifies he has some sort of history with this tool/weapon. But no, he never even uses this weapon.

Wouldn’t you have loved to see that guy go through an entire squad of zombies with that thing? I could have come up with about ten different types of scenarios where the guy resorted to it. But no, they fail to do this. You can’t build up some awesome weapon and then not use it. This is like going to see a Wolverine movie and he never uses his blades. Or the Alien catching someone by surprise and not using his inner mouth thing. The lack of the concrete cutter kills me and it may seem small but its a gateway into a much larger issue. But first!

Everything Is Guns

Now, I like guns. I’m a big fan of them and go shooting whenever I can. Go second amendment and all that shit. But guns are boring when it comes to horror films. This and slow motion action sequences. Even if you’re making an action/horror flick then guns are kind of lame. You can up the ante like in Predator where the thing is shooting some shoulder canon. Even a machine gun leg is ok like in 2007’s Planet Terror. Reggie from Phantasm 2 is completely awesome with his four barreled shotgun. Those things spark an interest and can create a pretty cool effect or gimmick on the situation. But just plain old use of guns piss me off. It’s because guns don’t equal scary or gore and this movie is neither scary or gory.

I would be ok with the use of fully automatic weapons if they were shredding the zombies to bits. Just a hail of bullets tearing the zombies to pieces. That might have peaked my interest and kept me watching. But every shot is a simple head shot. It’s like the people with the guns are RoboCop and have laser precise aim! Know one misses! There aren’t those spark explosions in the background or nothing. Am I supposed to believe it’s because they’re “trained” that they don’t miss! That is absolute bull shit and lazy writing.

Think of the Matrix scene where Trinity and Neo go save Morpheus. They go through the SWAT team and it’s a blaze of gun fire. But what makes it so cool is the destruction of the walls! That entire scene would be lame if when the SWAT team was shooting the CGI bullets didn’t actually hit anything. But it’s a brilliant scene mixed with the most awesome acrobatic moves.

Nothing To See

There isn’t one zombie kill in this movie that is memorable. Why couldn’t they use the Las Vegas setting as a means to create some cool massacre. Maybe a guy rigging up a limousine with chainsaw arms or someone using a gondola boat on wheels while wearing one of those hats and cutting zombie heads off with an oar? I don’t know, the city is so big and vast that you could do anything. You could go to New York New York and do some zombie killing on the roller coaster. Maybe they go to Excalibur and use some swords or medieval weapons. Do you understand my plight? Why not a moment where they find some magic props and use them to kill a zombie? I would have loved to see someone using one of those blades that cut people in half. Instead we get a boring barrage of gun fire. None of it is scary or impressive. Even the last encounter where the head zombie jumps on the escaping helicopter is boring as hell. Instead of some epic end for this “king zombie,” he just gets his head blown off!

You see that red blob! Yea, that is not on purpose!

No Tension or Inescapability

Nothing feels scary or inescapable. When characters are surrounded by zombies… because it’s a zombie movie. They just continually shoot their guns and it drags on and on. There is no sense of doom and despair. Even when someone does meet their maker, you don’t care because the characters are lame and undeveloped.

One of my most favorite zombie movies is 2009’s LaHorde. In one badass scene the character Ouessem is doing his last stand against… a horde. So he has guns but they’re spent. So the guy goes to his machete and starts hacking away as he is trapped on top of a car. He doesn’t care if he’s killing or not. It’s just pure chaos as the zombies are reaching for him. But this scene is so amazing and beautiful. The intensity is balls to the wall and with the zombies around him, it creates a true feeling of inescapability! God I Iove inescapability! It’s the driving force of horror.

But Zack Snyder doesn’t realize this. What he wants are “cool zombies” wearing whorish outfits and posing like Kim Kardashian. He has some idea of a zombie tiger and puts all of his chips on that one thing. You know what, that scene wasn’t even cool. I’m done, this is bull shit. I don’t even know what this movie is supposed to be. The intro credits are kind of funny and give a good countering feel to the chaos that is going on. I actually liked that shit. Why couldn’t Army of The Dead be a movie about just that stuff? I don’t care about military people trying to get a butt load of cash. CASH BY THE WAY! That is so heavy and bulky that the fucking group doesn’t even have a means to move it! DID ANYONE ELSE CATCH THIS SHIT! Like a virgin on prom night without a condom!

The movie Army of The Dead is garbage. Don’t believe anyone when they say they enjoyed it. They’re lying to be a part of that crowd. You know that crowd, the ass faces that think Star Wars: Phantom Menace or Indiana Jones and Crystal Skull were good. You hated the movie as well. You may not have noticed it… but your brain did. But I didn’t. I knew this movie was going to be shit and guess what, it was shit! You know what else. I could have made a better movie. Yea, I know people often say that. Most of the time, if they had the chance to do it; they would simply wimp out. Or if they had a chance to meet the director, then they would bitch out and not tell the person their true feelings. But me, I wouldn’t. I am saying this now, if I had the chance I could make a ten times better movie than Zack Snyder. I would say it to his stupid face!

To hell with this movie and to hell with Zack Snyder. The movie is boring and lacks motivation. I could care less about the money heist or the relationships between a father and his stupid daughter. Just get to the real grit and let us have some good old fashioned zombie genocide! Zack Snyder and his out of focus, plastic toned cinematography can go to hell.

Thanks for reading! If you would like to read more of my posts where I get pissed and hack movies up then check out these selected below!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. rdfranciswriter says:

    When I see “army” or “dead” or any derivative of those words in a film title: I pause. I am “living dead” over and done at this point. Against common sense, I just tired working my way through Day of the Dead 2: Contagion (a “prequel/sequel” to Romero’s Day of the Dead from 1985, if anyone is wondering). I didn’t finish it. And I reached for my copy of Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls, in short order.

    Anyway, a review that cross references Cinnamon Toast Crunch (the best f’in cereal, ever) and exposes the Stranger Things cocaine youth-sermon conspiracy, well . . . I am going to give the film a whirl, Netflix, be damned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nscovell says:

      Lol thanks for the comment. I agree about the dead and army stuff. It’s overuse is tiring and cliche.

      Liked by 1 person

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