It is always a bad omen when a film takes nine minutes to get through its opening credits. Right away that tells you that the film is more about the filmmakers than the subject being filmed.
It is always a bad omen when a film takes nine minutes to get through its opening credits. Right away that tells you that the film is more about the filmmakers than the subject being filmed. With so much accreditation, a film demands the viewer choose between sticking around to see what the movie is actually about or sticking around to find the identity of the star’s poodle groomer.
The Revenant forces this choice upon us.
The film opens with a dead guy in a coffin (Bart), not a bad place to start a zombie film. However, we are then subjected to some of the worst acting in film history. Louise Griffiths, who plays Bart’s girlfriend Janet, is so bad at fake crying that her performance throughout the film could easily be mistaken for laughing.
Next comes the fantasy of every man whose best friend has a hot girlfriend or wife: After the funeral she wants to shag the friend, regardless of his age, weight, looks or personality. In this case the slovenly friend is Joey and the following morning Bart claws his way out the grave and shows up on Joey’s doorstep.
After the first 10 minutes or so, the film actually picks up and is pretty funny. Joey is hilarious in what can only be described as the natural reaction to the return of someone he knows to be dead. The two pals proceed to begin the search for fresh blood sources for Bart who may be zombie or vampire but is certainly a revenant.
Here’s where the film starts to blow chunks in a big way. Racial epithets and racist stereotypes abound and make this a very uncomfortable film to sit through. I don’t care what the subject matter is, perpetuating stereotypes is an ugly and cheap form of entertainment that more than a few will protest against. I’m surprised that director Kerry Prior thought it was funny or appropriate, even in a zombie film.
During one such encounter, Joey is shot and killed, only to be turned into the walking dead. This is the signal for the two friends to become Bonnie and Clyde, at which point the film breaks down completely. The ending is so completely unrelated to the rest of the movie that you have to wonder if they bought it from Endings-R-Us.
The remainder of the Zompire Film Fest (of which The Revenant is a part) consists mostly of zombie shorts films. Most are unremarkable and one is just downright stupid.
The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon features a fat, slovenly middle-aged man being chased by a tall thin guy in ghoul makeup. The film says that the chase takes years, while the ghoul continuously whacks him with a spoon. It is so ridiculous that it scarce justifies its existence. It feels like a pretentious college student inflicting his inane ideas of art on the world.
If you are interested in a zombie/vampire film fest, I suggest you create your own. Try Resident Evil, Underworld and Van Helsing. Even Death Becomes Her is better than the schlock of The Revenant and its compatriots.