Review: Infection Z (2013)

Michael Madsen stars in Infection Z, a z-grade zombie film featuring a bunch of folk attempting to survive the night during a zombie outbreak. Sound familiar?

There was an interview a number of years ago with actor Michael Madsen in which he was asked why he made so many dire straight to DVD movies. He replied that acting was his job and like any job, you had to take the good with the bad. His honesty is admirable (you could argue the same be said for Ben Kingsley. Watch Bloodrayne, and you’ll get the idea), yet you only need look at the prolific and excellent career of, say, Leonardo Di Caprio or even lesser actors like fellow Tarantino alumni Harvey Keitel (who stared with Madsen in 1992’s Reservoir Dogs), to know that you don’t have to make heaping turds to be a profitable actor. Why, then, does he feel compelled to keeping making ten dozen cinematic catastrophes for every Kill Bill or Sin City?

Infection Z (or Infected for the American readers out there) is one of these catastrophes, a bargain-bucket shitter made with less of a budget than most Morrison’s commercials, who’s only redeemable feature is the gurning mug of Mr. Blonde and even he looks embarrassed to be there.

The plot itself is achingly familiar: a bunch of peeps are on a hunting trip or something in the woods when, low and behold, things go all undead on them and they must use what wits they have about them to survive the night. It’s a formula that has been trodden into the ground ever since Night of the Living Dead some forty odd years ago, but the key problem with Infection Z is just how amateurish it all is. It literally looks like a student film, and a poor one at that, as those who made this cluster fuck clearly have little to no understanding on how filmmaking works. There is a sub-plot that appears twice during the film involving a man succumbing to the zombie plague and eating his own daughter. We see him with said daughter and then later on we see him on the phone to his estranged wife having just eaten said daughter. Then nothing, we don’t hear from or see this guy again during the course of the movie and what little screen-time is devoted to it adds absolutely nothing to the narrative. Also, since when did zombies talk?

Infection Z is put together with spit and glue, terrible dialogue, terrible acting, pointless and confusing character arcs, an insufferable heavy metal soundtrack (when will filmmakers realise that heavy metal is the least scary kind of music to use in a horror movie?), and everything else you’d expect from a film this cheap. Those responsible for this mess clearly skipped filmmaking 101. The book ‘filmmaking for dummies’ was written for the makers of movies like this. It’s just terrible.

And why is Michael Madsen in this? You’re Mr. Blonde for crying out loud!

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