action, horror, movie, movie review, The Asylum, zombie movie

July 5th, 2018 Movie – Zoombies

zoombies

Well folks, this is it. I have reached the last movie in my collection….well, as of January 2018. I still have a couple of movies I picked up this year but we will get to that later. Right now, I want to take a moment and think back on this. I started this little project of mine January 1st, 2014, mainly to check and see if any of my movies were messed up and needed to be replaced (side note, 6 movies in total needed to be replaced, 5 of which still in need of that). The whole blog idea came about as a joke 6 months later but it has kind of taken on a life of it’s own since then. Now I find it somewhat fitting that the last movie on the list comes from one of my favorite studios, The Asylum, as it means the list ends on a high note. Now when I first heard about this movie, I thought the idea was fantastic and couldn’t wait to pick this movie up on DVD. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Zoombies.

The plot: At the Eden Wildlife Zoo, which primarily contains endangered species, one of the security guards, Monte, brings in cages full of monkeys into the veterinarian’s clinic as a precaution, while the vets work on trying to figure out what is wrong with a monkey named Sandy, as she is suffering from some strange virus. When Sandy flat-lines, the head vet, Dr. Gordon, decides to inject her with some intracardiac epinephrine, overruling his assistant’s (Robin) objections about it being illegal. After injecting Sandy, they notice all of the other monkey’s acting strangely and, along with Monte, lift the covers to check on them. Suddenly, they hear a sound and when the turn around, they find Sandy is moving again and quickly leaps off the table. As they go looking for her, Sandy knocks a cabinet over onto Monte, killing him, then leaps at Robin when she tries to run, ripping out her eyes, before attacking Dr. Gordon. Meanwhile, Dr. Ellen Rogers, the zoo’s owner, is giving a tour of the zoo to a group of college interns (Amber, Ricky, A.J., Gage, Robbie and Kyle), taking their phones from them when Amber is talking on hers trying to get someone to get her out of the program. Ricky is dropped off with Chelsea, who manages the bird aviary, and as Amber, Kyle, and Robbie are dropped off at the African animal area, it is revealed that the reason Amber is there is because her grandmother is one of the zoo’s largest donors and this was her community service work for being on probation. Ellen’s daughter Thea, who was in the bus with them, says she wants to see Kifa, the zoo’s Cross River gorilla, and when they head over, Thea calls out to Kifa, who comes running out of her cave to see Thea. As A.J. watches in amazement at Kifa and Thea’s interaction, Kifa’s handler Daxton explains that Kifa and Thea practically grew up together and are best friends, then takes A.J. with him while Ellen, Thea, and Gage leave. Meanwhile, Dr. Gordon is still alive and manages to press the alarm button so Rex, the head of security, sends one of the guards, Johnny, to see what is going on. When Ellen, Thea, and Gage return to the main building, Ellen leaves Thea in her old workroom/playroom, then takes Gage to introduce him to Rex and the other two guards. As she goes to meet Leslie “Lizzy” Hogan, the new security guard hire, they get word that they lost contact with Johnny and so Rex, Lizzy, and the two other guards, Boris and Ty, head out to see what’s wrong, taking Gage with them. When they get to the clinic, they turn off the alarm and go looking for Dr. Gordon, finding him severely injured in the lab. After managing to get into the lab, they ask what happened and he starts to tell them before he suddenly starts convulsing and a monkey burst out of his chest. As the other monkeys, which are now infected, suddenly appear, they attack and kill Boris and Ty, then attack Rex. Lizzy is able to help him and they manage to kill some of them but three monkeys manage to escape. Rex contacts Ellen and tells her what is going on and she proceeds to place the zoo on lockdown while contacting the police for help. As the alarm sounds through the zoo, Chelsea and Ricky lock up the aviary, while A.J. and Daxton lock themselves in the lab next to Kifa’s enclosure. Amber, Kyle, and Robbie hear the alarm and their boss, Gus, sees the monkeys leaping through the trees and tells them to run as he gets attacked. The three interns take shelter in a t-shirt kiosk but when the warthogs, now infected, begin attacking the booth, they quickly climb up through the roof and into the trees. They are soon attacked by some infected giraffes and Kyle and Robbie are killed but Rex, Lizzy, and Gage arrive and manage to save Amber. As Rex and Lizzy argue about the aviary, as Lizzy says if any of them gets infected it and escape it would be disastrous, Amber tries to convince Gage to leave with her. When another giraffe attacks Gage, Lizzy and Rex go to help him and Amber decides to take their jeep and try to leave on her own. As the three try to figure out what they should do next, they see some elephants approaching them and Gage theorizes that they haven’t been infected, as they have no natural predators, and they can ride on them and stay safe. Meanwhile, Ellen is in contact with the police, who sends a S.W.A.T. team in to assess the situation but the team encounters some infected lions and is killed. Amber reaches the front gate and after finding it locked, she notices the camera and starts waving at it to get someone’s attention. Ellen sees her and asks where the others are but Amber yells at her to open the gate. Ellen says she can’t do that, as it would release the animals, and as Amber argues with her, Ellen notices  the lions approaching Amber and tries to warn her but Amber ignores her and tries to climb the gate but the lions attack her. As Ellen watches in horror, she notices a sensor saying that an animal is in the watchtower, just as she realizes Thea isn’t with her. Thea is back in the playroom and as she approaches the stuffed koala, she realizes it is a real one when it tries to bite her and when Ellen manages to enter the room, she finds that Thea killed it with a baseball bat. Back in the park, the elephants get spooked by a bunch of infected lemurs in the trees, knocking Rex and the others off of them and accidentally stepping on Rex’s leg, breaking it. As the lemurs start to attack them, they are rescued by Daxton and A.J., who take them back to the lab. As they discuss the situation, Lizzy notices animals approaching the gorilla compound and Daxton runs out to protect Kifa, only to discover that Kifa has become infected. Kifa attacks Daxton, throwing him through the door to the lab and kills him, then begins hunting the others. Rex tells Lizzy to make sure none of the animals, especially the birds in the aviary, escape the zoo, then grabs a machete and stabs Kifa, buying the others time to escape. Kifa kills Rex, then chases after the others, who climb up the rocks of her enclosure then drop a boulder to stop her before they escape. Trying to figure out their next move, they see the jeep driving by and go rushing to it only to find fatally wounded Amber behind the wheel. Amber ends up dying and Lizzy uses the radio to contact Ellen and tell her what is going on. Ellen tells her that she will get Chelsea and Ricky out of the aviary and tells them to meet back at the watchtower. When the lions appear and start feeding on Amber, Lizzy, Gage, and A.J. get in the jeep and drive off, killing some of the lions that chase after them but they end up wrecking the jeep in the process. Hearing some animals moving down the path, Gage leads them towards the ziplines, and they use them to get to the watchtower but the cable snap as they get close and A.J. ends up falling to his death while Lizzy grabs onto Gage, and they then make it to the watchtower. Ellen lets them inside and as they make plans to head to the aviary, they arm themselves with weapons from the security room, as well as grabbing all of the gasoline and fuel they can carry in order to destroy the aviary. When they get there, Lizzy and Gage head inside to find Ricky and Chelsea only to find that they have been attacked by the birds, who are infected. The two begin shooting at the birds when they start attacking them while outside, Ellen notices some of the birds trying to peck through the glass and starts pouring gas around the aviary in order to set it on fire. Lighting the fuel on fire, the fire starts to engulf the aviary but she realizes it won’t kill the birds before they escape. Gage and Lizzy manage to make it out and Lizzy has Ellen move the truck next to the aviary, then uses a flare to ignite the remaining fuel in the truck, causing it to explode and take the aviary with it. As they watch the birds die in flames, they are surprised to see Kifa approach them and they quickly run for the gate. They try to climb the gate but Kifa attacks them and Ellen is forced to shoot him in the head. A helicopter picks them up and takes them to safety but back in the zoo, it is shown that Kifa was not killed and regains consciousness.

This was an entertaining movie but I will admit that I was a little disappointed in some of the effects. The acting was ok, with Andrew Asper (Gage) doing a good job as the surprising male lead while Ione Butler (Lizzy) and Kim Nielsen (Ellen) did good jobs as the female leads. The story was interesting and I liked the idea of the virus turning the animals into zombies, somewhat, but, and I know this is odd coming from me, but I wish they did at least attempt to explain how the virus first started and not just jump into “sick monkey attacks people” part. One scene that I did find funny/plot problem was at the end in the aviary. When Gage and Lizzy were firing on the birds, the shots that missed could have easily broken the glass and allowed the birds to escape but of course, that magically doesn’t happen. The special effects were honestly a little weak, particularly some of the green screen aspects of the movie. One thing I thought was pretty annoying was that after Kifa was infected, they would keep switching back and forth between the infected face and the pre-infected face, even when he was chasing after people. The back and forth with the face really bugged me more than anything else in the movie. Kifa and the special effects aside, this was still a fun movie to watch and another solid entry from The Asylum.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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