• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

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The Zombie Apocalypse

TITLE: The Zombie Apocalypse

YEAR: 2008

GENRE: Horror

Low budget cinema can vary greatly due to the definition of the term “low budget” itself. The main difference in low budget movies would be the finances, which can range as high as $7-10 million to as small as a  few hundred bucks. As a result, as a reviewer it is my job to remember what the director and producer had to work with and give a fair and objective opinion of the finished product based on the facts. That is not to give excuse to a film that is a piece of garbage no matter how cheap the budget may be, but it can explain some of the limitations such as the special effects or make-up effects. With that being said, the independent film The Zombie Apocalypse only had $5000 to spend for a full-length production, and despite its financial limitations the final results perform as well as could be expected.

Mark (played by Michael Empson) and Tom (Michael Harthen) are two college students who need a break from their incessant and boring college studies, so they decide to run out to the local bar to get hammered. While there an experiment is completed and a horde of blood thirsty zombies escape to munch on the local population and create an end of the world scenario. Assisted by a mysterious drifter named Miller (Kenny James) and a gothic photographer named Raven (Kelly Knoll), the unlikely foursome must bind together to survive the undead onslaught. While finding others to survive the outbreak, the foursome discover that survivors have ulterior motives of their own especially Agent Net (David Caulkins) who released the undead horde in the first place. Surviving against the zombies is difficult, but finding humans one can trust is another matter.

It is to be assumed by the watcher that a budget that could buy a good used car will not make a film riddled with amazing special effects, and this is the truth with The Zombie Apocalypse. Make-up effects are minimal and most gore effects only include buckets of Karos syrup, red food dye, and some rubber body parts and organs. For the ones who can get past the deficiencies of the gore effects will find The Zombie Apocalypse to have a fairly good albeit predictable storyline that is fast paced. There are no shortages of fight scenes that result in blood-soaked carnage, even if the spurting gore is probably from a catsup bottle. A couple of the scenes are actually stylish and creative in their execution, especially when  Tom has to execute his infected girlfriend and Mark has a nervous breakdown when his emotions get the best of him during a showdown with the zombies. The editing for this film is also much better than one would expect for a $5000 production and the thespians are mostly inspired actors although their enthusiasm leads to the occasional over acting.

Director Ryan Thompson has assembled a much larger budget and has created a sequel to this film that stars Fred Williamson that has garnished several film festival awards at horror conventions. It is almost impossible to hide budget limitations when the numbers are so tiny, but The Zombie Apocalypse is a fairly enjoyable romp that has more redeeming qualities than one would expect. The Zombie Apocalypse may be a piece of crap, but it is a good piece of crap. Grab some popcorn, turn your sense of humor as high as it can go and enjoy the limited yet inspired performance.

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