Written and directed by Matt Jaissle and starring Tim Lovelace, Ron Asheton and Jeff Rector, Dead City also goes under the name of Legion of the Night.
A blend of sci-fi, action and horror, Dead City is a zombie flick with a bit of a twist. A movie that is impossible to take seriously and one that has one of the most haphazardly put together plots seen in some time. Yet, its nonsense is not without charm and at times, it proves itself to be entertaining. Even if those moments are few and far between.
Dr. Bloom and his assistant Russell are in trouble with a mob boss named Vansemie. The mobster has been financing their experiments with dead soldiers ever since the government cut their funding. With Vansemie’s money, the pair managed to succeed in their experiments and created a group of cybernetic zombie assassins (CZA). In return, the mobster used the CZAs to take care of his competition.
Now, the deal is done. Dr. Bloom and Russell believe they have repaid the debt and want out. Vansemie has different ideas though, wanting to remove all traces of what he did, he kills Bloom and destroys the CZAs. Russell is wounded and survives, unknown to Vansemie and his goons.
Russell than contacts Dr. Bloom’s son Taylor and they agree to rebuild the CZAs and use them to take Vansemie down. That’s it. That’s a story. Stop there. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t as the CZAs break their programming and go on a killing spree. Now they need to be stopped too and it’s all up to Taylor. Will he be able to stop the CZAs and avenge his father by taking out Vansemie?
Credit where credit is due, Dead Town is ambitious. However, neither the budget or talent matches it. It’s a movie that can be enjoyed for its absurdity but it’s also a movie that tries its hardest to make you want to just switch it off.
One look and listen to it and you’d figure it came out around the middle of the 80s. So it’s a bit of a shock to find out that it’s from 1995. It looks and sounds terrible.
Then you have the acting, which goes from amusingly bad to just bad. Dialogue that seems to feature a swear word in almost every sentence. Action that never really sparks, blood that rarely flows and an awkwardly jammed in love story.
It’s an impressive combination of rubbish elements that blend together to make a mush that you’d wrinkle your nose up at. Yet, through encouragement, you decide to taste and find that actually, it’s not too bad. Not delicious or anything and not something you’d want to keep drinking from, but something that is palatable.
All because Dead City has a sincerity that slowly grinds you down until you can’t help but appreciate what was attempted here.
Dead City (1995)
The Final Score - 4/10