Zombie Month part V: 28 Weeks Later

28 Weeks Later directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Speed: Human- will run out of puff eventually.

Intelligence: Very low, although cognisant of whether it is capable of attacking or not i.e. it will revert to docile state if it perceives it cannot attack.

Behavior: Extraordinarily aggressive- will attack with tooth and nail. “Speaks” with a garbled rage. When unable to attack or unable to perceive any “prey” will go into a docile state where they stand hunched in one position. Considering types and ferocity of attack patterns they seem to cluster and wander at night. Seemingly immune and uncaring of pain. Addendum in description.

Longevity: Approximately 1-2 months from infection due to starvation. No known “cure” but genetic resistance is discussed in the sequel. How they survive so long without eating (unless they eat what they catch) is unknown, but may be because most of the infected’s body functions cease.

Infection: Fluid to fluid contact, especially blood, from an infected human or closely related monkey. Onset is a matter of seconds during which time the body rapidly degrades to the virus (“rage”) taking over.

How to kill: Anything that would harm or wound a human will do likewise for an rage infected.

28 Weeks Laterhas had significantly fewer views from me than its prequel, and there are more than a handful of reasons why this is the case. The opening scene is visceral but unfortunately contrived- survivors picked off one by one by the invisible hand of fate, fleeting glimpses by a married couple etc. It also sets an annoying precedent for the rest of the film to commit the cardinal sin of any zombie film and change the rules of aforesaid zombies/infected. In this particular instance, the very short incubation time is cut from about 20-30 seconds, to three seconds flat.

The film also follows a great deal of cliches that would be better seen in other genres. I have yet to see a film with someone looking at a row of apartment/hotel rooms through binoculars/scope andnot see a couple having gratuitous sex- has everyone forgotten the use of curtains? There are other really predictable moments but I won’t go into them. What I will go into is the frequent abandonment of logic for the plot and sanity for the so-called protagonists. SPOILER ALERT. Firstly, having a rage infected (but asymptomatic) patient not under guard or at least, you know, behind a locked door, seems rather silly. What also seems a bit whacko is the driven rage of the newly infected Robert Carlisle, who amazingly isn’t even that scary.

Rage infected don’t open doors, plot traps and easily find bunkered down civilians. They are, by definition, bereft of higher functioning. Yet this one infected (and none else) single handedly manages to stalk our intrepid heroes for miles as opposed to being what an infected is supposed to be about. The military is both ruthless and retarded. Controlled explosions designed for exactly this contingency and executed exactly when and how it is supposed to be executed manage to leaves hordes of infected running around like it ain’t no thang. The little hero group, trying to escape, are revealed at the end of the film for almost certainly exposing mainland Europe to the infection. It is due to them being mercilessly hunted by the military for no good reason the way in which the director tries to make us empathize with their plight? Hell even if it were just three innocents caught in the crossfire I would still say that is a fair target to halt the spread of the deadliest plague known to mankind.

In short the film has a bigger budget, more glaring anti-government claptrap, and a plot that flat out refuses to follow the script laid out for it. I personally think I would have enjoyed it more had it not been a sequel to 28 Days Later– without the consistent flaying of the prior material it could have made for a somewhat campy but enjoyable homage to 1980s zombie films. But as it stands, it represents the egoism of its director and producers trying to play by their own rules and not that of the series.

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~ by freeze43 on May 14, 2012.

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