What a strange mixture this horror film is. At first glance we've got a zombie flick which kicks off on an army base. The action moves into a spooky apartment building as an escaped scientist seems intent on spreading the infection which turns out to be alien in nature. This pulls elements from 28 Days Later but it lacks the class. It reminds you of Re-Animator in places but the gruesome gore doesn't reach the same heights. It also has a touch of Day of the Dead about it but sadly not the original, the 2008 remake. It borrows ideas from various other horror films and mixes them together without much craft and yet it is fairly entertaining.
The film opens with Darren Hall (Eric Peter-Kaiser) escaping from a military installation which seems to be experiencing a zombie outbreak. These are fast moving rabid flesh eaters with acrobatic skill and they are making short work of the soldiers. Somehow the nervy scientist Hall flees the scene with a mysterious serum in his possession just before a bomb hits and clears the area.
We pick up the action in a bizarre apartment building called the Necropolis. The uninviting name is matched by the ragged interior and Hall takes up residence in the cluttered basement. He soon runs into trouble with the gang who hang about out front. He also somehow manages to strike up a relationship with a woman in the building who is suspiciously desperate. Things get really interesting when he starts to work on the serum and as it all spirals out of control the military send in an agent to clean up the mess.
This is the directorial debut of Chris Conlee. He worked as an editor on Boo before getting his chance here and he shows glimpses of skill behind the camera. Unfortunately Evilution doesn't really grip you as a horror film but I'd have to lay the blame for that on the writing. The script is awkward and filled with inauthentic dialogue and quite a few stolen ideas. The man responsible is Brian Patrick O' Toole. The pacing is also a bit off for me, the apartment building is a dull location and it takes too long for the horror to kick off.
The acting is decent and Eric Peter-Kaiser was quite good in the lead role. Sandra Ramirez wasn't quite as convincing as his love interest. I didn't see why she would be interested in this pale weirdo living in the basement. Noel Gugliemi definitely gave his all as Random but his two sidekicks were pretty awful. It might have been nice to see a bit more of the creepy Necropolitan manager played by Nathan Bexton but I notice on IMDB that the writer and co-producer O' Toole has an upcoming project called Necropolitan so perhaps we'll see him again.
The action is limited and the gore is very basic. There is some blood splatter but nothing really special going on in this department. The infected people are also a bit awkward in places. They could do with some zombie acting classes. They are very fast and agile with some acrobatic manoeuvres which felt odd and Evilution never really feels like a zombie movie.
The film was made on a relatively low budget and shot on digital video but it looks quite good. It is a shame that they couldn't find better locations but there is a large cast and some reasonably well handled special effects. Evilution is not a great film but as throwaway entertainment it works.Short Review
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