An extension of a short that won writer and director Jacob Mulliken Pittsburgh Film Maker of the Year in November, 2013. Meltdown is a disappointingly bland, unfunny and boring zombie flick that devolves into a poor Walking Dead clone.
The story mainly follows Hunter (Jacob Mulliken) who is planning to ask his girlfriend to marry him. His friends, Zeke (Robert McMurray), Callie (Alicia Marie Marcucci) and Les (Seth Gontkovic) aren’t so on board with his plan though. Mostly because it’s clear to everyone (including us) that his girlfriend is cheating on him and can barely stand to be around him. The fact that on his 29th birthday she chooses to go out with a ‘friend’ rather then spend time with him should speak volumes. Hunter is pretty oblivious to all of this though so his friends come around to try and show him a good time.
The day after, a hungover Hunter decides to go through with his proposal but gets shot down and headbutted by his darling girlfriend. He meets up with his pals at a bar who have a little fun at his expense and then everything goes wrong. Well, even more wrong in the case of Hunter.
Something, who knows what, starts transforming everyday people into ravenous zombies. The group are forced to fight for their survival and then the film abruptly jumps forward in time. This is where Meltdown goes full on Walking Dead as the survivors wander the post-apocalyptic wasteland dealing with the dead and threats from fellow survivors.
Meltdown is a film of two halves and neither is particularly good. The first, the Hunter and his girlfriend saga leading to the zombie outbreak seems to go for a more comedic style but rarely hits. It’s just not funny and Jacob Mulliken’s Hunter is so blindly stupid he stops being likeable. The endless teasing that he suffers from his friends also gets really tiresome after the first few jokes.
By time the zombies finally hit, the sub-par acting and sub-par camera work will see most checking out. The following segments might stir some of their slumber though as at least the gore is decent and the frantic nature of the attacks makes for a more enjoyable watch. Even if we’ve seen it all done time and time before.
Then we get the abrupt time-jump and what wasn’t a great movie already takes a colossal nose-dive. The latter half of the film is so boring, it’s near impossible to stay awake. It’s lazy, rehashed zombie fodder that acts like we should have some kind of deeper feelings for the characters but that is impossible. By time it reaches its conclusion, it has sunk to the point of being completely forgettable.