March 5, 2011

Evilution (2008)



"An alien bacterium resurrects the dead on Earth."

I try my hardest not to watch anything on the Chiller channel for a number of reasons. Firstly, I can't cope with the obscene amount of hypocritical censorship on American television which causes Chiller to have to blank any swear words and pixellate the briefest of nude scenes while showing all manner of grisliness virtually uncut. Secondly, 90% of the films that Chiller shows are amateur, low-budget crapfests that nobody in their right mind would want to watch in the first place. If you ever thought that Zone Horror's selection was bad, you have really underestimated the amount of truly terrible horror films that there are in existence.

Unfortunately I sat up late last night channel surfing and ended up watching "Evilution" because for the first 15 minutes it was actually pretty good. I don't know whether it was the zombies, the creepy apartment manager or the luscious Sandra Ramirez that sparked my interest enough to watch this awful film all the way through but none of them were enough on their own to make it a worthwhile investment of my time.

Basically, "Evilution" was a mixture of "28 Days Later" and "Re-animator" with a subplot about a cursed building. At best you could say that it was ambitious but ultimately it turned out to be less than satisfying.

The main problem with "Evilution" was that it lacked action. Some people might say that Eric Peter-Kaiser's lacklustre performance was another low point but I didn't really notice anything wrong there apart from how completely dull his character was. No, what ruined it all for me was how the promise of lots of running, jumping and biting zombies turned into a lot of talk and got confined to about four sets with hardly anything happening until almost the end.

I also really didn't get the "alien intelligence" angle which had something to do with the glowing serum which resurrected the dead. I'll give it credit for being something different and trying to be original but really stuff like that belongs in an episode of "Star Trek" and just doesn't work so well in what should have been an apocalyptic zombie movie.

The parts of "Evilution" that did intrigue me though were Nathan Bexton's appearances as "The Manager" which were as creepily camp as could be. If you think of him as a younger, American version of Simon Cowell then it gets even more amusing. I've read in other places that his role is somewhat repeated in "Basement Jack" (which also stars Eric Peter-Kaiser) but I haven't seen it yet and have no idea if "Evilution" is part of a series of films tied together by the same building and manager or not.

Of course, because I'm always on the lookout for interesting eye-candy, Sandra Ramirez as the hot, horny and quite desperate divorcee was another highlight for me. It strained credibility a bit too much that she was apparently "dating" as many members as possible of the so-not-scary street gang who lived in her building and even more so that she wanted Eric Peter-Kaiser. Based on looks alone and not the terrible dialogue that came out of her mouth, she was way out of anyone's league in this film. Trust me, you really want to look her up on Google Images.

Anyway, without giving too much away, the scene in the army office which occurs about 15 minutes in, kills this story stone-dead. Not only does it contain some of the worst acting ever but it just chokes the flow of the movie and it never really recovers afterwards. There would have been a dozen better ways to introduce Tim Colceri's character though why it was even needed in the first place, I can't imagine.

As far as horror movies go, "Evilution" is a bit of a turd. Production values range from very good to just about average, the zombies are scary enough to upset small children, but the story itself is so clich├ęd and poorly written that it all becomes an endurance test to sit through rather than the entertainment that it should be. Having said that, it's still surprisingly watchable and certainly isn't any worse than a SyFy channel movie or any of the Roger Corman productions.

I don't recommend "Evilution" as something you should buy or even rent but if you are sitting up late at night, maybe downloading sexy wallpapers on your laptop or eating a bag of Funions as big as your head, then using it as free background entertainment which you don't have to concentrate on too much is ideal.

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