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November 26, 2013

Movie Review: Eaters (2012)

by Peggy Christie

There's a reason why one shouldn't eat dinner while one is watching an Italian horror movie, and a zombie movie to boot. Perhaps I never watched Suspiria while trying to snuffle down a hamburger casserole. Believe me, I've learned my lesson now.

Eaters is a independent zombie flick out of Italy. Like most other undead films, this one takes place after the zombies have basically taken over. Igor and Alen, two remnant soldiers of a decimated regime, have survived along with Alen's girlfriend, a couple of chuckleheads, and a doctor. They reside in an abandoned...something. Can't tell what it used to be, perhaps a hospital, maybe a factory.

Life now consists of weekly runs for supplies, either by bartering with the smattering of survivors still out there in the ruins of the world or by taking what they need. And when it's from a group of Neo-Nazis, whose leader is a midget Hitler wanna-be, I'm all aboard Team Igor and Alen. The doctor also needs our two heroes to capture 'living' zombies so he can experiment on them. He claims he's really close to finding the cure. And with Alen's girlfriend being sick (infected but not dead-yet) he has no issue with running these kinds of errands. Granted, the doc looks like he's gone 3 years with no sleep and takes a daily bath in a mountain of meth to keep himself functioning but I'm sure he's legit.

On their latest run, which is at least a day's drive from their location, their radio picks up a faint signal from the Plague Spreader, a man who claims responsibility for the current state of the world. He's been broadcasting since the beginning that everyone should thank him for creating this new world because the infected are being reborn in the image of God.

Yeah, thanks douchebag. Great moniker by the way. It may not be unique but at least it's obvious.

The boys finally track the guy down. Turns out that he ISN'T the person responsible for the undead plague but he wanted any survivors to find him and fear him, thus treating him like a god. Okaaaay. Thankfully, Igor blows his head off. The silver lining here is they find a real survivor - a young teenage girl. Did I mention that the zombie plague wiped out all the women first?

Don't worry. Igor and Alen are not crazy sex starved maniacs. They rescue her from the lunatic, who had actually started eating survivors once the food supplies ran out. After giving them the low-down on crazy cannibal man, the young girl, Christina, needs to pee. And wouldn't you know it, when a girl is at her most vulnerable, she's grabbed by a zombie.

Igor and Alen go to rescue her again and find something quite curious- a group of zombies with weapons. Huh. Never seen that before. Nor have they ever encountered zombies that can talk. But that's exactly what they find here and one particular Chatty Cathy sends them to the White Doctor.

Here is where we get the big reveal and an explanation as to what the hell has happened to the world. You'll be surprised, maybe, to find out who really IS responsible for the destruction of the entire planet. Kicker is the doctor they've been living with is involved, has been from the start, and now Alen and Igor need to haul ass to get back in time to stop the crazy bastard and his plans for creating a new race of people (what is it with Italians and god complexes?)

I enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would. The cover of the DVD says "presented by Uwe Boll" and I almost set it on fire. The man is not exactly known for his brilliant film making. In the case of Eaters, though, Boll simply distributed the film. He was in no way involved in writing, directing, producing, or creating any part of it. Which might be why it turned out well.

The film itself is a visual treat. Though it's super low budget, judging by the rambling zombies that only had face make up, it looks like it was filmed properly and not on someone's mom's home video camera. The colors are bleak and faded, except for the blood and guts which really made them stand out (and made me want to hork up my dinner). Even the abandoned and burned out locations were great.

I knew none of the actors but I have to say Igor was my favorite, played by Alex Lucchesi. Sure, they had a well-known character actor play the Nazi leader and famous Italian porn star do a cameo (I only know that because I watched the DVD extras. Shut up!) But Alex really pulled me into the story better than any other actor and technically, he wasn't the lead.

Some of the plot development went a bit off the rails for me, even for a zombie apocalypse story. My disbelief can be suspended like a giant rope of masticated Hubba Bubba but I had trouble wrapping my mind around the level of crazy in this movie. And some of the inconsistencies bugged me. They didn't want to attract zombies but then why did they drive around blaring music or shooting off their guns when a machete would have worked just as well on the undead? Someone also set up a bomb where they lived but it wouldn't have been the crazy doctor who was trying to create a new species of human. The other guys didn't seem smart enough to do it. And Igor and Alen were off on a mission so...what's up with that? A convenient way to wrap up the story?

Despite my complaints, I really did like this movie. If the producers could have gotten their hands on a few more bucks, the F/X could have been even better and the film makers could have distributed their own movie so more people could have had a chance to see it. I'm sure I'm not the only one that saw Uwe Boll's name and cringed.

3 Hatchets

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