Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Horde (La Horde)

The 73rd Virgin says... 2009, 90 min., unrated
Four corrupt cops go to a high rise tenement to take revenge on the gang that killed one of their own. After the cops are neutralized and captured by the gang, their tenement comes under sudden attack by zombies. Now they must team up to survive.

Yep, zombies. Like so many action horror movies the first 20-30 minutes shows promising creativity - but from there....meh. Here we get really scary baaad black dudes as the gang. But this is a French movie so the bad dudes aren't standard issue Hollywood trash talkin' homeys, but serious-as-a-heart-attack Nigerians. And, like the best zombie flicks this finds a quick creative way to show how the phenomenon develops without a bunch of exposition. This is all good, and sort of echoes the beginning scenes of the original Dawn Of The Dead in terms of wild brutality and claustrophobia

Also, the heroine (Jo Prestia) is a strikingly post-nubile (IMDB says she's 49) badass, which is inconceivable in Hollywood horror but works pretty well here. Move over Sigourney Weaver.

The whole movie is insanely bloody and violent.  But those are the good points. Other than speed and strength, these zombies pretty much comply with the international Codex Zombius in that head shots always kill them, but as the mayhem begins, the heroes get dumber and dumber, always shooting at the chest rather than the head. The jumpy, sloppy HD video attack scenes quickly begin to repeat themselves, and after a while I just got sleepy. It ends as all zombie movies must, with one or two survivors and an uncertain future.

If you've seen one French cop revenge zombie kung fu splatterfest, you've seen them all. If you've never seen one, this might keep you engaged.

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