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.
I am currently 23 minutes into seeing this film for the first time. Frankly I’m not paying full attention — I’m busy on my laptop working to start my company (yeah … that’s all) — I am, however, forming a few first impressions. Without pulling any punches, I’m trying to figure out how to say that this film delivers … moreover it delivers where the re-make of Red Dawn flat out failed. Yes, I know, neither of the Red Dawn films were zombie flicks — that’s not the point.
I’m impressed by the depiction of chaos and survival once the invader have hit — in Red Dawn the U.S. being invaded by one or more foreign countries whereas in WWZ humanity world wide is being invaded by our favourite plague … zombies. My impression of the Red Dawn re-make is that it was crafted in part to grab the teeny-boppers who went nutz over hunky werewolves and love-lorn glittering vampires. In other words, the re-Red Dawn survival and tactics would have gotten the Wolverines killed.
In my mind WWZ does a good job of depicting post-catastrophe society and tactics necessary to survive. As Z-films go, this film clearly has money behind it. It gets off to a start quick, and then gives its set-up. The zombies have intense movement and drive which doesn’t seem to be explained (but like I said, I’m not giving it my full 84% focus), at least not as of yet.
I’ve been curious how this might play out; I haven’t read the book but I have heard some of the audio-book. Action, adventure, mystery. There is a journey, but not the typical journey. In a way the zombie chaos is worse than the survivor chaos.
Stylistically speaking, I quite like the movement look that the production achieved for the zombies. Time and time again you seem similar movements from zombies — but in this film not only did the film-makers find a different way for the zombies to move, it ties in with the zombies’ drive, how they work as zombies.
This may be the biggest (stand alone) zombie film made yet.
Once again, a review in note vrs essay form by DPScobie Rated – Yellow Puss
I think this is the first non-English-language zombie film I’ve seen. When I saw this on the library shelf I grabbed it up precisely for that reason — in this case, Germany. Personally, I watch DVDs with the subtitles on because I find I follow the story better — I’m glad that this DVD also had English audio over-dub. Also, I found that I had a hard time doing what I usually do while watching movies — type or work on a small hand project — I really had to just-watch the film. Yeah, I know, actually ‘watch a film’ — what a concept — it’s how I prefer to view films & spend my viewing time.
Zombie bite + angry victim = another zombie
Potentially the human immune system can beat the zombie infection over time providing the victim stays calm while their body beats the infection
The zombies are rather rabid, including frothing & drooling at the mouth
Initially this doesn’t have The Journey” element (for the first 54 minutes of the film) — instead the people are trapped in their apartments
The zombies are repelled by strobes because their retina’s are sensitive to the light
Has a bit of a 28 Days Later vibe to it — like this is the B-team in the same story line
I’m unclear if there are supposed to be some comedic elements — this could be the difference in the timing between the original German execution and the English over-dubs
Deals with the personal experience of a person changing from a human to a zombie
Shows people who aren’t able to handle the stress and emotions of the catastrophe, killing themselves in various ways
The film is shorter than what I’m used to — it ends (goes to credits) around 58 minutes
There’s a fun & campy video in the bonus features — a PSA on zombie identification & eradication
Ladies and gentlemen, The German parliament has authorized the immediate use of military force. A state of emergency has been declared according to article 35 of the constitution. It is now clear that a pervasive epidemic is spreading via a virus of unknown origin. The pathogen is thought to be transmitted by bodily fluids exchanged through bites from infected individuals. Within hours or perhaps minutes the virus spreads through the body. Infection does not mean a full blown illness. The pathogen only enters the brain when the body releases adrenaline. I repeat, adrenaline released under strong emotional stress activates the illness. If you think you may be infected, it is very important to stay clam. Stay away from others and, if possible, sedate yourself. There are indications that the immune system can conquer the disease if the illness remains dormant. If illness develops, seek safety away from the infected person. Under no circumstances should one attract their attention, even if they are family members or friends. Remain calm. If you are in an urban area do not try to leave on your own. All major traffic routes have been blocked. The army is preparing to evacuate large cities via waterways. Stay in a safe place. Barricade your doors and windows. Keep your radios on. As information becomes available this station will broadcast the latest updates. You are urged to stay tuned and, as we stated earlier, remain calm. Authorities are working to find a solution to the crisis and medical personnel are treating infected victims at make-shift crisis centers across the city.
a pervasive epidemic is spreading
via a virus of unknown origin
is transmitted by bodily fluids
via bites and bleeding wounds.
Within minutes or hours, the virus spreads
through the body.
Infection does not mean
a full blown illness.
The pathogen only enters the brain
when the body releases adrenaline.
I repeat, adrenaline released under strong emotional stress
activates the illness.
If you think you may be infected, it is very important to stay clam.
Stay away from others.
If possible, sedate yourself.
There are indications that the immune system
can conquer the disease if the illness remains dormant.
If illness develops, seek safety
away from the infected person.
Under no circumstances
should one attract attention,
even if they are family members or friends.
If you are in an urban area do not try to leave on your own.
All major traffic routes have been blocked.
is preparing to evacuate large cities via waterways.
Stay in a safe place. Barricade your doors and windows.
Keep your radios on.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The German parliament has authorized immediate use of military force.
A state of emergency has been declared according to article 35 of the constitution
Whaddayaknow — George A. Romero wrote & directed another zombie film!
What’s the significance of this film? I’m still trying to figure that out myself. Heck, 30 minutes into the film I asked “Where’s this film going?” After an hour & thirty-seven minutes I asked myself that again and then the credits started rolling.
Music that was used in Shaun Of The Dead, which SOTD did intentionally drawing from a number of Z-films to pay homage to their predecessors
Yelling “Hello?” that sounds like the same delivery I first heard in 28 Days Later and suspect that Day Of The Dead was the origin
Experiments with cognizant zombies – most notable in the film is “Bub”, a male zombie who at a base level shows memory of things from when he was a human (ex applying a disposable razor to his face for shaving)
In some cases over-the-top campy acting, which can be characteristic of B/Z-films, but in this case struck me as poor acting &/or directing choices. I think the film could have had better execution & resonance in the same scenes (ALTHOUGH I NOTE – it was only the military AKA government characters that acted in this ‘ridiculous’ way, which may start to make some sense when you understand that this is supposed to be representative of a conflict between the public & the government.)
Questionably gay straight guy or straight gay guy
Oldest private in history, Private Steele – so did he join late, has this zombie conflict been going on that long and there was no one around to promote him, or is that he joined young and remained a career private?
Better make up & effects than Dawn Of The Dead
Instead of being held up in a shopping mall (Dawn Of The Dead) with a helicopter they’re holed up in an underground facility of some sort with a helicopter
I happened to have a collector’s edition of this film when I viewed it, so I also had all the extras — including the ‘interviews with the cast members X#-of-years later’ AKA ‘today’. One of the things said (by Romero) was that the two parties of people in this film — scientists & military — stuck in the underground bunker was meant to represent the public and the government of the time (mid-1980s) and how there was a distrust between the two.
Perhaps this film had that significance then (in 1985) but viewing it in 2017 it has no staying power.