#203 -- Remains (2011)

Rating: 3.5 / 5
Director: Colin Theys

Remains is a Chiller movie based on a comic book that I'd be really interested in reading. I guess it's a made for TV movie, but it can be found on DVD at Wal-Mart, and obviously I watched it on Netflix. So television isn't the only outlet to view this one. I think this is the first Chiller original movie, and if it's any indication, I've got high hopes for whatever they create in the future.

Yeah, it's a zombie movie; and no, I can't honestly tell you that it's not like all the other zombie movies out there. But it did have some things I'd never seen before, like a zombie barking at another zombie because it didn't want to share its food. There are a shit load of zombie movies out there, and really, there's only so much you can do with an undead flesh-eater. Though I have seen some very original zombie movies, it seems like everything has already been done with that sub-genre. But of course, people keep making them.

 Zombies are like a film-making magnet; everyone wants to work with them. They are all very similar, things seem to repeat themselves after a while, and they can get tedious--we, as viewers are drawn to them as well. Everyone just loves zombies, and there's a perfectly good reason for that: they're fucking awesome. The zombies in Remains were no different; they were pretty great.

The apocalypse was started by a nuke that released a sort of radiation into the area, infecting everyone with that dreaded Z-virus. A group of people trapped in a casino in Reno, Nevada try to stay alive and find a safer place to stay. Among the survivors is Tom, the manly man; Tori, the skanky bitch; Vincent, the muscle that only thinks about himself; and Jensen, the kind of nerdy gay guy that I really loved. Jensen was played by Miko Hughes, who was the extremely adorable kid in Pet Sematary. He's all grown up and not looking too shabby, but that's besides the point. Eventually, they are discovered by some military people who steal all their food and leave, but not before shooting Jensen in the head for no reason (which I was extremely upset about, by the way). One of the military folk come back because all the rest were killed, but there doesn't really seem to be a point to her being there. The initial characters--Tom, Tori, and Jensen--worked well together. She was just filler, it seemed like. But I wasn't bothered, because she was played by Tawny Cypress from Heroes, so it was nice seeing her again.

What I liked about the zombies in this one was how they acted. They did not like sharing their food, which they actually picked clean, down to the bone. There was no leaving people half-eaten in the street. They didn't waste a damn thing. Also, after a while they started getting faster and stronger. It's weird, because you'd think after so much decomposition going on, they'd actually get weaker. But I guess being dead isn't what we living folks think it would be. The survivors were not smart by any means. They just couldn't seem to grasp the idea that gunshots attracted zombies, and they shot their guns off all the time for no reason. Once, they located a spotlight that they planned to use to get the attention of the military people. It was hooked up to a stereo system that played super loud music, and they woke up all the zombies on the street. Oh yes, the zombies sleep here. But they don't sleep during the day and stalk at night, as most people would expect. They're actually just like us (apparently they pee too, but thankfully you won't have to witness that). Even though the survivors were pretty stupid, the zombies couldn't quite catch them. Since there was no live food for them, they started eating each other, and sometimes themselves. But with all that, the zombies didn't seem to be focal points. They were there, sure, and they were menacing and to be feared. But it was the relationships between the survivors that was the most interesting and worrisome part. No one (except Jensen and Tom) could be trusted. People were turning on each other, leaving their fellow man to die, and sometimes even purposely putting someone else into the line of fire, so to speak. I was constantly on the lookout for what they might do to each other to save their own asses.

So, overall, Chiller's first original movie was a hit for me. I'm looking forward to what they put out next.

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