This Taiwanese entry in the overpopulated zombie apocalypse genre feels like two episodes of a riotous TV saga spliced together. It opens with something that might have been called Zombie Raid as a gang of variously corrupt or heroic cops fight their way through an apartment block just as a new batch of pills starts turning partying folks into zombies – and the oddly creepy teacher Wu Ming (Jack Kao) is assailed during a birthday party he is holding for what seem to be a harem of students, some of whom get killed and revived. Then, one year later, after the plague has overwhelmed the city and perhaps the world, we’re in a whole new scenario (which aptly does involve a Zombie Fight Club) where Wu Ming is boss of an Escape From New York-ish prison city where surviving toughs fight with zombies in gladiatorial combat. Among the human warriors are the lone honest cop (Andy On) and a survivor of the first half of the film who has gone from party girl to tough chick (Jessica C) with a haircut but still parades around in her underwear. Director Joe Chien, who did the similar Zombie 108, gives it all a grungy look and clearly has an eye on the exploitative as he mashes up The Raid, Shivers and Resident Evil so blithely that it’s not even a ripoff – this is more of an excuse for gore stunts, screaming women in states of undress, fight scenes and make-up effects than it is anything like a coherent plot. Even the zombie apocalypse is basically conveyed by captions that get exposition out of the way so the exploitation can be thrown into overdrive. As such, it’s just a touch wearisome.
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