The perils of getting old and not keeping up with things like you used to. Once again, I came across a movie on TV that I honestly had no idea was even made. So while channel surfing years ago, I stopped on Syfy channel, back in the days where it was Sci-Fi and showed all sorts of awesome B-movies, and this movie happened to be on. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard this movie was being made and even more surprised that this movie had been intended to be released theatrically but an edited version wound up being released on Sci-fi early. So let’s see how things turned out with today’s movie, Return Of The Living Dead: Necropolis.
The plot: 10 year after the last zombie incident was dealt with, Charles Garrison is travelling to Chernobyl with some Russians, Boris and Nicholai. When they get there, the two Russians that accompany him take him to the heart of the facility, where three drums of Trioxin are being kept. Boris sends Nicholai upstairs to get the other three drums but when Nicholai reaches the room, he notices one of the drums has fallen over so he sets it upright but ends up with some of the Trioxin on his hands. When Boris goes to see what is taking Nicholai so long, he is attacked by Nicholai, who has been turned into a zombie. During their struggle, Boris’ gun is knocked from his hands and Charles picks it up just as Nicholai bites into Boris’ skull and kills him. When Nicholai turns his attention towards Charles, Charles shoots him in the head. Some time later, Julian and Jake “Pyro” Garrison are living with their uncle Charles after their parents died in a car crash. After school lets out, Julian and Pyro go hang out with some of Julian’s friends as they ride dirt bikes when one of them, Zeke, crashes after jumping a ramp and is taken away to a hospital due to his being unconscious. Meanwhile, Charles, working for a company called Hybra Tech, has been doing experiments with the Trioxin gas, reanimating a severed arm. As he continues experimenting with the gas, reanimating a corpse this time, some of the gas escapes through the pipes and ends up infecting a homeless man and a rat he was cooking, which attacks another homeless man as he is eating it. Julian heads to the hospital to check on Zeke but is told by the doctor that he suffered a reaction to the painkillers and died. Meanwhile, Zeke’s ex-girlfriend Katie works at Security for Hybra Tech and sees Zeke being brought to Hybra Tech and calls Julian to tell him. When Julian asks Charles about it, he lies about Zeke being there so Julian, Katie, Cody, Becky, Mimi, Carlos, and Darren work at a plan to break into Hybra Tech and rescue him, unaware that Pyro is watching them. Julian, Becky, Cody, Carlos, and Darren ride their dirt bikes through the sewer system and get into the building through the loading docks, taking out the two homeless men turned zombies on the way. Meanwhile, Katie disables the security cameras while Mimi distracts Hector, the other security guard. As Katie uses a radio to give them directions, the group make their way through the ventilation system when they discover that Pyro followed them. The group reach Charles’ lab, where Charles confronts them and denies knowing anything about Zeke but Carlos pulls a gun on him and forces him to show them where he is. As the make their way along the corridor, they ask about the zombies that are being kept there and Charles says it is part of their research. When they reach Zeke, Carlos is forced to shoot the lock to open the door, causing an alarm to go off. They manage to free Zeke and Cody discovers another room where Hybra Tech appears to be cloning their own zombies. Carlos tells Julian to ask Charles about his parents and when Julian presses him, Charles admits that Julian and Pyro’s parent’s bodies are at the facility. Charles manages to get away from the kids and the group goes to leave but Katie, while trying to shut off the alarms, accidentally releases the zombies from their enclosures. Darren is killed and Zeke is bitten as the group manage to escape, then arm themselves with some guns from a security room outside Charles’ lab. Meanwhile, Katie turns the cameras back on to see if she can find everyone and sees the zombies attacking people. She goes to get Mimi and Hector but as they are trying to leave, Hector and Mimi are killed by some zombies. Julian and the others are making their way through the ventilation system when a zombie tries to attack them through the grate and causes Julian, Cody, and Carlos to fall to the floor. After killing the zombie, they tell the others to go ahead and get out of there, then Julian says he is going to go find his parents and Cody and Carlos agree to help. Making their way towards the building his parents are in, Julian, Cody, and Carlos fend off the zombies but Carlos ends up getting killed by one of them. Meanwhile, Becky, Pyro, and Zeke make their way to the garage and manage to steal a car but as they are trying to escape from the zombies, Zeke succumbs to the bite and turns into a zombie and then tries to attack Becky, causing them to crash. Julian and Cody reach the bioweapons lab and discover that Julian’s parents have been turned into cybernetic zombie soldiers. When they leave the lab, they find themselves surrounded by zombies and make their way to the roof, where they use the ropes they brought to rappel down the building, but Charles heads into the lab and proceeds to activate Julian’s parents and sends them after the kids. When Julian and Cody reach the ground, the run from the zombies there but are suddenly confronted by a zombie Mimi and Hector. Julian grabs a gun from a fallen security guard and reluctantly goes to shoot her but the gun is empty. Before they are killed, Katie slams into Mimi and Hector with Humvee and yells at them to get inside, then takes off. Elsewhere, Becky and Pyro are trying to fend off the zombies when Zeke tries to attack Becky again but Pyro pushes her out of the way and ends up getting killed instead. When Zeke approaches her, Becky grabs Pyro’s homemade flamethrower and uses it to set Zeke on fire. Katie and the others show up and Julian is upset at seeing Pyro is dead but the others drag him into the truck and they drive off. As they go to leave, they encounter Julian’s father, who uses the twin gatling guns on his arms to shoot up the humvee. Becky uses a grenade she grabbed to blow up Julian’s father, seemingly killing him but as they run past, he is shown to still be moving. The group encounter Zeke and Julian’s mom, and Zeke attacks Julian while Julian’s mom attacks Cody and Becky. Becky manages to trick Julian’s mom into using her chainsaw hand to cut through a power line, causing her to electrocute her self while Julian pulls the pin on the grenade Zeke had with him, blowing him up. The police arrive and proceed to kill the remaining zombies at Hybra Tech, even Julian’s father when he gets up and attacks the kids again, but Katie was killed by Julian’s father. Later, Charles is seen leaving Hybra Tech with the Trioxin while a news caster reads a statement from Hybra Tech saying there was not a zombie outbreak but an accident occurred that did result in some deaths. As the newscaster turns it over to sports, a zombie suddenly attacks him as the camera cuts off.
All things considered, this wasn’t that bad of a movie. The acting was ok, with Peter Coyote doing a good job as Charles but John Keefe (Julian) just came off as weak and whiny. The story was interesting, keeping some aspects of the original series intact, mainly the Trioxin gas turning people into zombies and their craving brains, but some other aspects were off, mainly that the zombies appeared weaker and were able to be killed by chest shots as opposed to head shots only. The special effects honestly looked a little weaker than I expected but the zombie makeup was pretty good, especially with the burned Zeke zombie. The cyborg zombies of Julian’s parents were interesting but I honestly felt like they were trying to imitate Nemesis from Resident Evil: Apocalypse but it came across as cheap looking. It has some faults but it is a decent zombie movie at times.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5