Review: KNIGHT OF THE DEAD (2013)
Personally I think zombie movies are suffering from over exposure. Everyone and their brother are making them. I can kind of understand why. They are one of the easiest movie monsters to create on a low budget. All you need is a human being and make-up that makes him or her look recently dead. So, it takes something really unique or unusual to get me to watch a zombie movie these days, which brings me to why you’re reading a review I did on the latest walking dead flick cleverly titled, Knight Of The Dead.
I’ve seen zombie movies done in the desert, in the old west and even during the civil war, but I can’t recall one that was ever done in medieval times like this one is. Plus, I used to be heavy into Dungeons And Dragons when I was in high school and because of that any kind of medieval setting I see in movies always brings to mind that role playing game. While watching the trailer for this movie I kept thinking, wouldn’t it be cool if someone actually did a zombie movie in the Dungeons And Dragons realm with D&D characters?
Until that becomes a reality I decided to satiate that desire with this particular flick, unfortunately, though, it failed to quell that need.
During the Black Death, a band of swordsmen are charged with escorting a priest through treacherous lands as he attempts to take the Holy Grail to men more learned than he. Along the way members of the band attempt to rescue a woman who’s being accosted. They kill the perp, but in so doing incur the wrath of the group of assassins he was a part of and the leader takes some of his men on the hunt for them.
The priest and his escorts take a short cut into this valley but soon learn only the walking dead populates it. They encounter a woman, what appears to be the only non-zombie in the valley, and she strikes a bargain with them. She’ll show them the way out if they take her with them. They agree and the fight is on. Survive or die at the hands of the living dead.
I will give the movie props for shooting in real locations (no green screen landscapes here), using authentic garb and making the actors in general look as grungy as you’d expect someone to look living in medieval times. Color has been sucked out of the print too, giving it an almost black and white palette and making the movie appear even grimmer. The FX for the zombies, however, is as simple as I expected them to be for this low-budget fare. They’re all recently dead looking. Gore is present but nowhere near Tom Savini-levels. CGI is kept to a bare minimum but is present nevertheless in occasional blood spurts and a vertical cleaving in half of one of the walkers. A brief landscape shot of a ton of walkers is most likely CGI/green screen, too.
The entire flick clocks in at an hour and eighteen minutes only.
Aside from being a rather nice-looking movie the story, the zombies and the characters failed to pull me in at any level.
Overseas you can get this movie on DVD and blu-ray. For it’s US debut from Inception Media Group it’s available on DVD only. The 1.78:1 transfer looks sharp and the English 5.1 stereo track is, too. There are no subtitles and no extra features.