Quint at Fantasia takes a look at Greek Zombie flick EVIL IN THE TIME OF HEROES featuring... Billy Zane?!?
Published at: July 15, 2010, 4:37 a.m. CST by quint
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a weird one from the Fantasia Film Festival up here in Montreal. I know that’s a bit repetitive… weird and Fantasia go hand in hand. But this one is realllly weird, even for Fantasia.
Evil in the Time of Heroes is a Greek zombie comedy that is really trying for a Braindead (DEAD ALIVE) feel and comes close to succeeding if only for a few specific moments.
The movie is about 70% awesome, 20% terrible and 10% Billy Zane (which can also be read as bizarre, so every time you see me write “Billy Zane” feel free to substitute the word “weird” as it’s pretty much the same thing).
Most of the 20% terribleness comes from the flashbacks to Ancient Greek times. In fact the first five minutes takes place around a campfire in Ancient Greece as guys with cardboard helmets covered with gold tinfoil and wrapped in blankets talk… and get attacked by zombies.
Apparently this zombie epidemic is a curse that is guaranteed to visit the island every few hundred years and one Greek citizen will be chosen to defeat the evil. And Billy Zane is this chosen one’s protector, I guess. Why not, right?
After a horrendous opening the movie cuts to modern day right smack dab into the middle of the zombie apocalypse with one of our leads impaled through the chest. His narration says this is the first time he died, but he doesn’t return as a zombie. It takes us a while to figure out, but he’s the chosen one, which is pretty funny considering he’s kind of a schmuck.
When we’re in the modern day segment the movie goes full blast into the fun zone… for instance, our four leads run into a stadium to avoid the zombies hot on their heels and end up running out onto the field. The camera spins around them as we see thousands of zombies run in. An overhead CG shot shows them surrounded.
The next shot is the four characters, drenched in blood, exiting the stadium doors and one of them says, “That was close!”
That’s the sense of humor of the filmmakers and the clever way of filming around their low budget. It’s for moments like those that I’d recommend the movie.
And for Billy Zane, who plays his mysterious man in black character deadly serious. The dude shows up randomly to take out zombies with, I guess, the force and his cool custom knives.
But his job is to push the chosen one in the right direction (and bring him back to life at least twice by my count) as the chosen fool spends most of the movie trying to hit on a young girl who is more interested in his father.
Feeling like a mix between early Peter Jackson, Edgar Wright and Mad Magazine, Evil in the Time of Heroes couldn’t help but put a smile on my face. As mentioned previously, the flashbacks are just bad, sub DTV shit and the ending gets very muddled and overdrawn, but for what works I give a recommend with conditions attached.
Yes, it’s bloody, gory, funny, but it’s also a little sloppy and has a few stumbling moments. Imperfect, but worth a view. I’d love to see what director Yorgos Noussias could do with a bit more money and a little more experience.
Oh, and there’s a 2 minute sequence of just Billy Zane’s cloaked head, in black and white, spinning slowly like a German art film. No shit. I was howling with laughter (along with the rest of the audience). It was so random and awesome and silly.
Here’s the trailer:
I’m already on my last day of Fantasia, but I’ve still got some more reviews on the way. Stay tuned!
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