Flight of the Living Dead

9 out of 13 nots
for Zombie Awesomeness and Silly Scream At The Screen Cheese

Being a zombie fanatic, when I saw the ad for Flight of the Living Dead I knew I had to see it. Snakes on a Plane had been kind of a let down. Sure, there had been snakes on the plane but the ending was just… crap. And frankly, being trapped at 30,000 feet with the undead has long been a scenario I’ve wanted to see play out on the screen.

The movie delivered. Living dead on a plane. It was even moderately believable. Moderately. Okay, I’m stretching it because I love zombie movies so much. Mildly? Look, there are reasons it only gets that 9 out of 13. But it was fun. Worth seeing.

More after the break.

Even after seeing the title and knowing I was going to own this film on DVD, when I saw the cast I got more excited. Kevin J. O’Connor, Richard Tyson, Erick Avari and a special appearance by Brian Thompson. These are the kinds of actors I love because they only seem to get starring roles in B list films, but they pop up all over the place in memorable bit parts in A list films. Real working actors. (Not to denegrate those top ranked A listers who get ten million a picture, but hey, when you can get away with making a movie every other year, you aren’t a “working” actor, you are a movie star, working actors take the jobs they can get in order to pay the bills.)

The first thing I have to say about this movie is … why are zombie movies always set in a world where zombie movies don’t exist? I mean, seriously, shoot for the head dammit! The head!! And when a friend, family member or stranger gets bit by a zed, take a second, apologize, and then shoot them in the head. The head!!

When I nestled in to watch this movie, I said to myself, “You know, zombies on a plane, or really anything on a plane is a good budgetary decision, I mean, because then you have only one set.” And then the movie went and had three sets! Exceeding my expectations early is good, that way when the arrogant scientist ignores his own knowledge and insists everything is okay when he should damn well know that everyone on the plane is now good and thouroughly fucked, I’m not quite so disappointed.

The wife and I really enjoyed picking out who was going to die and in what order. As they moved the drink cart down the aisle we were ticking them off, “Dead”, “Survivor”, “Dead by sacrifice”, “Dead but not until the end”, “Dead in a stupid way”, “Gets herself dead” … happily, we were wrong a number of times, not in that they died, we correctly identified all the survivors before the movie got fifteen minutes in, but we missed the order and manner of their expected deaths. This thrilled me, because frankly nothing bores me more than watching horribly cliched plots unfold and being right at every single turn. If you are going to make a movie that has only one or two logical ends, then at least mess around with the details a bit to the journey isn’t boring.

Mostly though, I was overjoyed that at no point during the film did anyone say, “Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking zombies on this motherfucking plane!”

Anyway, as fun as the movie was for me to watch, it only gets a 9 out of 13 because of the silly people not shooting zombies in the head, and the great lengths they went to in dialogue to avoid using the zed word. Just about everyone in the world knows what a “zombie” is, so when trying to describe something that has all the qualities of a zombie with maybe one or two differences, just say “Its like a zombie, except…” rather than waste three minutes of screen time trying to describe a zombie without saying “zombie”.

If you love zombie movies, you’ll love this movie… if you don’t like zombie movies, then this film is probably not for you.

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