Deadlands 2: Trapped: The United States Government has developed a highly effective nerve gas that is unleashed upon the residents of a small Maryland City.
Director: Gary Ugarek
Writer: Gary Ugarek
Stars: Jim Krut, Joseph D. Durbin, Chris L. Clark
Release Date: 20 July 2012 (USA)
Also Known As: Zombie Massacre: Army of the Dead Filming Locations: Arlington, Virginia, USA
During the top secret exercise the infected citizens begin to convert each resident into a sort of living zombie, until the remaining town residents, 6 total strangers, are trapped inside a movie theater cineplex. Written by Gary Ugarek
(IMDb.com): "The original Deadlands clocked in at around an hour and no matter how hard you try you will never get back that hour of your entire life. The film wreaked of amateur directing, writing, acting, cinematography, the list just goes on and on. So when word hit in 2007 there would be another zombie from that director I immediately searched out a vomit bag, and banged my head against the counter asking why? why? why? You should not be making movies.
As time went on and updates were given I stuck my guns. Well, I can admit when I am wrong, and recently, I was lucky enough to see a work print screener of the film for the purpose of doing a film review for one of the online horror websites. Originally titled Trapped, the film took on the Deadlands title in early 2008 according to the films press-kit because it turns out that Deadlands: The Rising turn out to be some sleeper hit for its distributor, so in business terms it was better to brand the film with the Deadlands moniker.
OK, I can buy that, but how much of hit was Deadlands: The Rising? Anyway, doesn't matter. What does matter is that this new Deadlands film, Deadlands 2: Trapped, completely blows away the first film, while that is not a hard task, even a nut-less monkey could do, the newest films show the director finally got his head out of his a*s and turned out something watchable. I rated the film a 7, and I did this for a couple of reasons. 1. I was so shocked at how much better the film was in terms of story and technical work that it deserved an extra point for that. 2.
The film actually keeps you interested. Especially in a time when low budget zombie films are a dime a dozen, so I added points for that. 3. The zombies were actually brutal, and unforgiving, which most people who make low budget zed films seem to forget to do. Zombies need to be menacing. Deadlands 2 should really be somewhere between a 5 and 6, but like I said I was very impressed at how much better this film was over the first that it actually showed that maybe this guy might get it right on his next film, whether or not he does a third or not and that alone was worth me giving it a 7, for now.
The movie has some problems, the acting is very uneven, but it makes up for the fact there was no real acting in the first. The worst of the acting coming from the character of Sean, played by Joe Durbin. The best of it coming from Casey, played by Ashley Young. Pacing, the story does slow down at times, but it does keep you interested, but the one outstanding feature of this film is the locations. One medium complaint is the choice to shoot hand-held, which at times is a little too much to handle, but it does work to an extent in the final product. The gore, while on display, is sparse, which is more effective, the music effectively creepy, and the atmosphere, dark and dismal. One can't help but to notice the many nods to great 80's horror flicks. The first to come to mind is Demons (1985), and the second is Return of the Living Dead part 1. In fact, it seems Deadlands 2 highly references this film in terms of story and plot, but changes it just enough to avoid straight out plagiarism.
I guess if you're going to give a nod to other zombie films you have to do a little copycatting here and there, but it works and thats all that matters. In the end, this film will be easier to sit through and stomach, and the final output is not as amateur looking as some films in the genre done on low budgets. The films vibe and final look and felt very 80's cheap as chips film stock, but thats a good thing because some of the best horror came from the 80's. Deadlands 2 is Rated R and runs 85 minutes. Recommended for all zombie horror fans." Written by NoStaplerMan
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