Well, it kind of looks like I’m on a bit of a zombie kick right now. Admittedly, that does happen now and again. The same thing happens with Japanese monster movies, too, but I digress! That’s a story for another day. Today, I’m going to highlight two of my favorite zombie-themed movies that I consider to be among some of the best of the flesh-eating genre. In 2009, brothers Howard and Jon Ford – both writers and directors – put together an excellent zombie movie set in a location far removed from most productions of the undead kind. That location was Africa. The movie surfaced one year later, in 2010, and was titled, simply, The Dead. There’s nothing wrong with getting straight to the point, and the title did exactly that. The story is very much based around the life of one man, Lieutenant Brian Murphy (actor Rob Freeman) of the U.S. Air Force. When Murphy’s aircraft crashes in the scalding hot plains of West Africa, not only is he forced to try and survive the pummeling temperatures and a distinct lack of food and water, he also finds himself confronted with ever-growing numbers of zombies.
Eventually, Murphy encounters someone that hasn’t yet turned: Daniel, a member of the African military who, having recognized that civilization is in the process of crashing big time, does his utmost to reach his son, who is holed up at a military installation somewhere to the north. When, disastrously, Daniel becomes zombified, it’s up to Murphy to keep the promise he made to dying Daniel that he will do his absolute utmost to find the boy. As the movie nears its end, Murphy reaches the army base in question and learns – via radio-contact – that the United States has pretty much fallen to the virus. The chances of fighting and beating the reanimated dead – it quickly becomes clear – are slim in the extreme. Amid all of the chaos, and as crowds of the dead close in, Daniel’s son and Murphy finally cross paths. Is a happy ending guaranteed? Well, I won’t spoil the fun: I’ll let you find out for yourselves.
Then, in 2013, there came the much anticipated sequel to The Dead. Its title was The Dead 2: India. Fans of the first production were very pleased to see that the Ford brothers were once again at the helm. This time, the scene of all the carnage that soon strikes is the Indian state of Rajasthan. At the start of the movie, the place is free of infection – as is the rest of India. Unfortunately for anyone who lives in Rajasthan, though, it does not stay infection-free for very long. Disaster is looming large. The cause of the outbreak of the zombie virus in India is an infected man who, having just arrived from zombie-ravaged Somalia, Africa, is solely, and wholly, responsible for the rise that quickly develops. The action soon becomes focused on Nicholas Burton (an American engineer played by Joseph Millson) and his beloved (and pregnant) girlfriend, Ishani Sharma (played by Meenu Mishra).
Unfortunately, for both Nicholas and Ishani, when the zombie virus stats to spread at a terrifyingly fast rate throughout Rajasthan and beyond, the lovers are hundreds of miles apart. So, it is left to Nicholas to make, and fight, his way to Ishani, to save both her and their unborn baby from the crazed, raging dead. High on tension and gore, The Dead 2: India aims to please zombie fanatics. In doing so, it’s hits its target solidly and decisively. If you are a fan of zombie movies that are high on gore and tension, you should check out both movies. You won’t be disappointed!