The Quick And The Undead Review

Poster Art Country : USA
Year: 2006
Genre: Zombie/Horror
Format: Video
Running Time: 88 minutes
Distributor: Nott Entertainment

The business of cleaning out a township of its zombie component is a messy one, especially when the damn competitors vie for your contract, by any means necessary. Burgeoning genre auteur Gerald Nott makes his mark in this impressively executed zombie feature....

Written and Directed by Gerald Nott. Starring Clint Glenn, Erin McCarthy, Randall Parrish and Nicola Giacobbe.

The Man arrives, guitar case in hand. All right. The street is deserted, much like any spaghetti western. Our hero takes a look around. But he's got more in mind than merely closing a tavern or two with an offkey rendition of "Tequila Sunrise." Ryn Baskin is a man on an unholy crusade, and that ain't a guitar in that case on his back....

The Quick And The Undead is writer/director Gerald Nott's nifty little "up yours" to the cynical cotillion which demands that all indie zombie features need to look cheap, feature non-descript acting and contain paint-by-numbers storytelling. Where The Quick And The Undead lacks in cast-power and big-name backing, the feature remains a stunningly competent zombie tale, buttressed with some well-imagined human elements to compliment the flesh-chomping.

Clint Glenn as Ryn Baskin poses with a zombie extra.

At the beginning of the film, the setting is an undisclosed future. Zombies have disrupted regular human life, and bounty hunters such as Baskin (Clint Glenn) are in demand to cleanse towns of their undead component. Trouble is, there are rival outfits who wish to eliminate the competition and claim the quick buck. It's in this sometimes-loyal climate that Baskin (who also has an undisclosed method of surviviving "certain death") engages the soft-spoken but diabolical Dennis Hopper lookalike villain Blythe (Parrish Randall).

Ever done the pick-up in a township wasted after a zombie shoot-a-thon? It's a mess. Apparently some of the characters in The Quick And The Undead are all-too familiar with what a pain in the ass it can be, but never mind that. Blythe and his cohorts show up for their typical round of 'screw-you' tactics, and our hero Baskin is betrayed, shot up and left for dead. At least that's what the bad guys think he is. But they're wrong. So wrong.

Nicola Giacobbe as comic relief character Hans.

In the middle of this chaos are some noteworthy side characters. The first is the scene-stealing Hans (Nicola Giacobbe), a sycophantic work-for-whoever-pays-most mercenary, although he eventually deigns to allign himself with Baskin. He's sadly wasted early, so much so that it's not really a spoiler. Then there is Hunter Leah (Erin McCarthy), who resembles a gun-toting Ann Coulter. She starts out as merely one of Blythe's minions but eventually is revealed to carry a damning secret.

Nott bathes the widescreen (2.35:1) image in impressionistic hues and impressive vistas. With the old West ambience a continual element in this film, lines such as "Look what the dead dragged in" become almost self-derivative. But Nott executes a pretty damned admirable zombie tale with enough human frailties within his story to comprise an engaging undead romp.

That ain't a chicken leg this zombie is chomping on.

The Quick And The Undead arrives in retail outlets this week. Do yourself a favor and snatch one up the minute you spot it on the shelf. You won't be disappointed.


Review by Petch Lucas, for Pitofhorror.com

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