3 out 10
Released: 11th October 2010
Director: Mark McQueen (London Heist)
Cast: Craig Fairbrass, Danny Dyer, MyAnna Buring, Craig Conway, Bart Ruspoli, Lisa McAllister, Alistair Petrie with Sean Pertwee and Colin Salmon
Writer: Bart Ruspoli
Trailer: DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND
Craig Fairbrass (CLIFFHANGER) star of the world’s worst vampire movie, Dead Cert, re-assembles assorted pals for a much improved variation on the Zombie film. Well much improved compared to Dead Cert. At least there are some elements to faintly recommend to a certain type of viewer. The U.S.P. this time around is that the undead not only run 28 Days Later-style, they are naturals at parkour. For the uninitiated, this the extreme sport of fast running that includes running up walls and acrobatically jumping across urban chasms. I could say that this is a cool reason to either die (just in case it can scientifically be proved to happen) or recommend this film. But I won’t.
The plot primer is a bio-enhancer test programme that goes wrong turning 30,000 subjects into flesh eating acrobats. There is only one subject who proves to be immune, a girl-next-door type played by Myanna Buring (KILL LIST). The medical giant send their number one mercenary to track her down. Guess who plays the mercenary? Craig Fairbrass soon finds her (by using zero detection skills – only getting into his car by my reckoning) hiding out with ex-jail bird boyfriend Danny Dyer (HUMAN TRAFFIC) and assorted idiots in a mechanics yard out in the countryside. As the virus spreads escape becomes increasingly futile. But either none of the characters have ever seen a horror film or they don’t care about protecting themselves. Their idea of out witting the cannibal Ballet Rambert is to hide behind a desk rather than keep their mouths shut and block the doors. As the film has a budget of 65p, a lot of the time is spent bickering. And its poorly scripted bickering at that. Fairbrass and Dyer are at constant loggerheads. A cowardly couple want to steal their transport at any chance they can get. The plot contrives to have them return to London to find a helicopter that can get them to freedom but theres seven of them and only three seats. Such stupidity still demands all the characters go back into London as opposed to hiding out in the relatively safe countryside. They discuss this single fact for what seems to be three hours. At least the set appears to be a real garage. The only positive point I could muster.
Actually, lets stop this. Why am I criticising a horror film where logic has no place? I think I’ll be quiet on those points. Films like this I find fall or stand on an interesting supporting cast. I was drawn in by the presence of Colin Salmon (ALIEN VS. PREDATOR) and Sean Pertwee (EVENT HORIZON). For once Sean Pertwee seems to avoid his standard gory death but his character is on a very different mission to the main bunch. I would’ve preferred to see how his panicky river cop faired compared to the central brainless bunch of herbs. Colin Salmon is the head of the evil medical corporation and has a few neat scenes near the beginning, so at least it delivers in the genre cameo boxes, unlike Dead Cert. Is it scary, is it tense? No to both. It’s just tedious. I’m hoping one day that Danny Dyer will return in a low budget horror gem like Severance again. But no, his agent still lines up these moribund thrillers. I wonder how they get such interesting actors to appear in them. Maybe blackmail.
As usual, first person to ask gets my DVD copy free of charge. Very faint praise indeed but this is Batman Rises compares to Dead Cert. But still….
3 out of 10 and thats for the parkour and the genre cameoes.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Craig Fairbrass: Rise of the Footsoldier 3, London Heist, Breakdown (2016), The Hooligan Factory, Vikingdom, Bula Quo!, Get Lucky, Deranged, St. George’s Day, Dead Cert, Freight, The Shouting Men, Just For The Record, The Bank Job, Rise Of The Foot Soldier, White Noise 2, Dark Days, Proteus, Beyond Bedlam, Cliffhanger, Eastenders (TV)
- Danny Dyer: Eastenders (TV), Assassin (2015), Blood Shot, The Hooligan Factory, Vendetta, Run For Your Wife, Deviation, Freerunner, The Age Of Heroes, 7Lives, Basement, Pimp, Malice In Wonderland, Just For The Record, Dead Man Running, Jack Said, Dead Cert, The Devil’s Playground, City Rats, Doghouse, Adulthood, Straightheads, Outlaw (2007), Severance, The Business, The Other Half, The Football Factory, Wasp (short), Mean Machine, Borstal Boy, High Heels and Low Lifes, Goodbye Charlie Bright, Greenfingers, The Trench, Human Traffic
- MyAnna Buring: Hot Property, The Comedian’s Guide To Survival, Hyena, Breaking Dawn – part 2, Kill List, City Rats, Witchville, Lesbian Vampire Killers, Doomsday, The Descent
- Craig Conway: Broken (2017), Estranged, Blood Shot, Scintilla, Detective Harrigan, Airborne, 7Lives, Four, How To Stop Being a Loser, The Tournament, Doomsday
- Lisa McAllister: Dead Cert, Just For The Record
- Alistair Petrie: Silent Hours, Hampstead, Eat Local, Star Wars – Rogue One, Kicking Off, The Night Manager (TV), Victor Frankenstein, The Face of an Angel, A Little Chaos, Vendetta, Rush (2013), Ashes
- Bart Ruspoli: Genesis (dir), Cryptic (dir), World War Dead (dir)
- Sean Pertwee: Howl (2015), Gotham (TV), Alan Partridge-Alpha Papa, The Seasoning House, Jo (TV), The Magnificent Eleven, UFO (2013), St. George’s Day, Wild Bill (2012), Four, 4-3-2-1, Devil’s Playground, Dangerous Parking, Just For The Record, Botched, Wilderness, Doomsday, Mutant Chronicles, Goal, Goal II, Equilibrium, Dog Soldiers, The 51st State, Soldier, Love Honour & Obey, Cold Feet (TV), Event Horizon, Blue Juice, I.D, Shopping, Dirty Weekend, Leon The Pig Farmer
- Colin Salmon: London Has Fallen, Resident Evil 5, Shank, Exam, Stalker (2011), Just For The Record, Devil’s Playground, How To Stop Being a Loser, Clubbed, Blood – The Last Vampire, Punisher – War Zone, The Bank Job, Match Point, Resident Evil, Alien Vs. Predator, James Bond: The World Is Not Enough, James Bond – Tomorrow Never Dies, James Bond – Die Another Day, My Kingdom, Fanny and Elvis, The Wisdom Of Crocodiles, Captives