Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Evil (aka To Kako) (2005)

Evil (or To Kako in its native Greek) is the “zombie flick from Greece” that was recently released. I love zombie flicks, so I scrambled to check this out as soon as I could. Usually, no matter if a zombie movie is good or bad, I at least enjoy killing an hour and a half in front of the tube. Sadly, though, Evil was a big disappointment and I actually found myself doing chores around the house rather than watching it.

A cave is discovered by a group of men who are working on some sort of construction job. They explore the cave and something attacks them. Nonetheless, they are all back in the city by nightfall, not remembering what happened, how they got out of the cave or even how they got home. One by one, the men start turning into zombies. One is in a nightclub full of people when he turns, another is at a very crowded soccer match and others are with their families or other places around the city. Once the biting begins, it doesn’t let up! Anyone who is bit (or partially eaten, with their brain still intact) immediately turns into a zombie. A small group of survivors bands together to try and escape the quickly growing zombie horde. Can they get to safety before the zombies get to them?

This movie just drags and is almost too action-y for it’s own good. What makes other zombie films like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Zombie and even 28 Days Later work is the character development, where we get to know and care for the characters. Evil’s pitfall is that it focuses too much on the action sequences (and the survivors running and running through the streets again and again) and doesn’t take time to develop the characters. It tries to as different characters “bond” in different ways, but never succeeds in forming a bond between the audience and the characters.

Evil does have some wicked flesh-tearing and eating sequences that were pretty cool, but nothing I haven’t seen before. There are many decapitations and bashing of brains, even an eye-gouging scene or two, which are all pretty neat but nothing new. The acting in the film is fine, as is the camera work and direction – no complaints in those departments.

Evil is partly comedic and it has its moments. It doesn’t go as far out as Dead Alive or even Shaun of the Dead, but the little bits of humor were enjoyable. There are some nonsensical comedic moments (how about when one of the women goes all kung-fu zombie-killing pro?) that just didn’t seem to mesh with the rest of the film’s tone. I think Evil should have either gone all out with the comedy or toned it down a notch because certain parts just don’t feel like part of the same movie.

The one thing that irritated me above all else, though, was the audio. The audio track is wayyyyy too low, but the music track is obnoxiously loud. I had to keep turning the volume up to hear the characters speaking only to have to turn it down when the music kicked in. I hate poor audio in a film, and this might be the main reason I didn’t enjoy the film as much as I would have otherwise.

It should be mentioned that this was shot on a shoestring budget and it still manages to look great for an independent film. Still, while the gore and action sequences are done well for a film with a small budget, it lacks a well-rounded story. If only there had been a few more elements to keep my attention during the film I might not have been so bored. I just couldn’t get into this film, even though I love zombie flicks! I’m sure there are those of you out there that will get a kick out of this self-proclaimed “first Greek zombie movie” but I sure didn’t.

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