I’m not sure if this is a Z-film. Mashing together a few online summations of this film (mostly from IMDB) consists of …
The year is 2015. Overpopulation and famine have plunged our planet into chaos. One desperate survivor — an enigmatic man — journeys through this apocalyptic world hunted and pursued by hordes of rage-crazed zombies.
Frankly, that sounds like a pretty cool film — not to mention that we’ve seemed to survive that 2015 issue — but my perception was …. different.
In some respects The Vanguard seems to be a psychological abstract art-house film with black comedy bits — not to mention the presence of humans who have been medicated by some controlling corporation which turns them into mindless wondering killers, which strikes me as a possible different approach to ZOMBIES.
Mind you, the zombies are on the peripheral to the story and they look like they were created using left-over make-up from either of the Evil Dead films. And what the heck the story of the film has to do with its cool name …. I haven’t a clue!
Frankly, this looks like another DIY flick. Looking at IMDB …. it’s written and directed by Matthew Hope, it’s classified as a low budget film … it appears to have been acted using friends and volunteers, and possibly assembled on a used iMac — but this was well done. I liked it and I’m happy having seen it only once.
Last night there was a meteor shower over Australia … then, inexplicably, some people started turning into zombies the following morning … normal types of fuel no longer work, but zombie breath and blood is flammable.
Weird — yeah …
Fun — OI, MATE!
Long/short — this film was a lot of fun, and surely is a film for my Top 10+ List. Amazingly this film was budgeted at $160,000, and written by brothers Kiah Roache-Turner (director) and Tristan Roache-Turner (producer).
This was a kick because it showed some new ideas — not just with the characters Frank and Barry discovering that zombie blood can be used as a substitute for gasoline. They take to the road to find Barry’s sister, Brooke. She’s been nabbed by soldiers and a scientist, and gets injected with a chemical concoction that somehow gives her the ability to control the hungry hordes. This helps to bring something fresh to zombie-genre after it’s received a heavy flogging in recent years.
In February 2015 a sequel was announced with a potential return of the original actors, with the release proposed for early 2017. The Roache-Turner brothers later announced that their next project would in fact be the Wyrmwood sequel in the form of a 10-episode TV series titled “Wyrmwood: Chronicles of the Dead“. The team released a short teaser for the series on 19 May 2017, featuring Gallagher and Bradey reprising their roles as Barry and Brooke.
The first time I heard Tom Petty – and I mean REALLY heard Tom Petty – was at a ski condo where I spent many winter weekends during high school. If you consider a lot of his songs being in high school could not have been a more fitting time.
My family had a time-share with another family on an area condo. Every other weekend we would pack up the van and trek to Snoqualmie Pass. As I passed from Freshmen through my Senior years I had to spend less time skiing and snowboarding and more time studying, all while looking out the condo windows at the frozen hill I’d rather be sliding down.
One night during the winter of ‘89/90 some folks down the hall at the condo building had a party. They put on Full Moon Fever (1989) and blared it. The album was crisp and clear, you couldn’t miss it from anything else going on in the building. The distinct sound of Tom Petty’s voice, the memorable tracks from this solo album … The folks down the hall played this album all night. It was the only album they played … all night. Everyone else in the building, myself included, were trying to sleep, and apparently no one had the nerve to go down the hall to bang on the damn door and demand they shut it off! My suspicion remains that the folks started playing a CD* copy of the album on repeat, partied and then passed out.
(* Here’s where I show my age – people were just starting to get CD players then – and the copy of the album I heard couldn’t have been a tape cassette because there wasn’t a long enough pause anywhere for the tape to run out … which is kind of funny & coincidental when considering what the listener hears at the middle of the album.)
Yep, the first time I really heard Tom Petty I REALLY didn’t like his work – not because of anything having to do with his music but because of the lack of sleep I got that fateful night coupled with the inundation of the singular album.
Some years later (still in high school) I had gotten that sleepless condo night and that repeating album out of my system. On weekend evenings I caught a late at night music show on PBS – I have no idea what the show was. For weeks I tuned in because this show was cool and I didn’t have a social life then (either). I would watch whatever band was being featured and then the show would close out with playing a number from a Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers concert.
Every week the concert would pick up where it left off, and over a number of weeks I caught most of the performance. Something about the music and the presence the musicians had caught me. To this day I don’t know what the specific concert was or much reference to make for the footage – and I would love to see it again. All I recall was that there was this HUGE tree prop behind the band on stage, and I think chandeliers hung from the branches. Their performance was engaging, electrifying, authentic, and the roots of rock’n’roll were palpable.
It was after that I started paying attention, learning about where Tom Petty came from, observing his accomplishments, hearing the arc of his music as he continued to mature …. and yet that authentic, palpable thing always remained.
I get the impression that some folks think that because I play bagpipes that I’m not a musician, that I don’t tie in with the rest of musicians the same. While I hold the opinion that there is a vibe every musician experiences that comes with their genre of instrument, there is a vibe that all musicians share. I didn’t start out as a bagpiper, I’m not now only a bagpiper, and with that I’ve always viewed myself as a musician first. When you appreciate the work of another musician both from an audience standpoint and from musician standpoint …. when someone who’s work was incredible and they move on … it hurts in two ways. You lose a star in the night who was a point of great creation, and you lose someone you understand because of the vibe you shared with them.
In some of the themes that Tom wrote and sang about – love, hate, and loss – my relationship with his work has been that. First I hated his work, then I came to love it. Lately we lost the man, and yet we can remain grateful for the gifts he gave through his art and dreams.
Okay, so here’s the explanation to hopefully un-confuse this review…
Usually I write my reviews as a film is ending or right after I watched it. Sometimes I’m busy and just write notes, maybe because the ‘what’ to write wasn’t flowing for me. It’s been long enough since I watched Exit Humanity I don’t remember what the situation was. A year ago (2016) I had a hard drive crash, and of the data I lost these notes (from 2014) survived. I didn’t go back and write these notes into essay form then and I’m not doing it now — so you figure it out.
The short of this is as IMDB puts it about Exit Humanity “A young man’s struggle to survive in the aftermath of a deadly undead outbreak during the American Civil War.”
Starting out this makes me think of Asylum Films — ripping off other films and being screen-tests for wannabe actors … but better than Asylum … and better than SciFi channel films.
This particular story makes me think they’re ripping off the book version of World War Z … I haven’t read it all yet but I have listened to some of the spoken-book featuring a number of actors/artists/famous-voices … just this is a whole film that focuses on a historic occurrence of zombies outbreaks.
Think of it like this … you’ve seen films that feature the lone person surviving in the aftermath of a zombie-outbreak — living off of what remains from civilization, running from the undead and slaying zombies to stay alive. This film is that but set in post US Civil War period. There would still be certain problems, at least with the people of this film, they’d run out of bullets to scrounge.
Interesting that there is only narration for the first 23 minutes of the film, no actor lines/dialogue
The film looks like some that I’ve seen on YouTube — but then I’ve seen some rather well done DIY shorts there.
Surviving would be easier in a period where people already live closer to the land.
I like the personal experience this film gives.
There are period-incorrect details that become immediately obvious — clothing being the big one, the ninja poncho the main charactre makes for himself, gas can, and I am in question of the rifle (less obvious detail) the main charactre has following the Civil War.
Something about the start of this film made me think of the 1999 film “Ravenous” with Robert Carlye (IMDB and Wikipedia).
This is one of the few films I’ve seen without a sub-title option … but then that saves you from screwed up sub-titles … like my copies of Star Wars Episodes 4, 5, and 6 where Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker talk about their “life savers” — mmm, tasty! I wonder if it doesn’t have sub-titles because it is a low-budget film.
IMO some of the pacing or mood lacks making scenes drag.
I like that the film was able to go from a narrated personal account into a story-line, however I think I enjoyed what I was seeing as the narrated film and would have liked to seen the whole story experience carried in that same way.
I’ve noticed the lack of Indians and blacks — only white zombies and survivors. This is not an equal-opportunity zombie film.
The book and the Eve’s house makes me think of Evil Dead I & II.
Had this been kept as a narrated piece it would have made for a unique piece — period film and zombie theme prose. Frankly, I did what I often do while watching a film — kept myself busy with a project — so I did not give my full attention to this piece. Had this been the narration-only driven piece it could have been, as with the sections it does feature, that would have better commanded the attention of the viewer in my opinion. This film could be re-made into a stronger piece with more feeling and horror, however using this film as an example to a remake I’m sure someone with the money for a project would say that it’s not worth spending the money because you’d only be making this a bit stronger ultimately … but then it wouldn’t be the first time the wheel was re-invented and only slightly improved.
I don’t believe I have seen a z-film where there are people who have immunity to the z-virus
The ‘witch’ Eve could be more convincing … I think the problem is the charactre needs to be played by an older actress … maybe it’s just that her hair is too black … as-in dyed black not a natural ‘black’ … so if she had some gray hints or her hair was not as smooth, that might help me to buy in to her charactre. (This is peculiar to say seeing as this actress is the most experienced out of the whole cast – to clarify, my issue is with her appearance, it doesn’t match with her acting or the profile of the character.)
Despite this film’s short comings, I would strongly encourage zombie enthusiasts to see this piece.
The source of the zombie outbreak was a bit predictable but does have a slight twist that I haven’t seen before — SPOILER — this has zombie-virus coming from witchcraft or as they elude to Vodou. Once this is revealed the film takes a bit more of a World War Z touch.
I can think of 2 z-films I’ve seen that are ‘zombies in the old-west’, I would say that this one is arguably better than the both.
As zombie make-up goes I’ve seen better and I’ve seen much worse — for what this film is the zombies look great.
Something I really appreciate about this film came from the watching the making-of piece (titled “Blood Sweat And Tears”) in the special features — this film is low budget and very DIY. It was shot in a matter of weeks and many of the crew personnel were volunteer, including family members of the director. I’d be surprised if the Civil War solders at the opening of the film weren’t volunteer reenactors. (When you watch the film with the director’s commentary he indicates that these actors were reenactors, more interestingly they’re Canadians.)