DVD Review: Humans Versus Zombies

Films are being made based on anything these days. Just look at the recent Battleship movie. However, this is the first case I’ve seen of a film being played out as a live-action RPG (Role Playing Game). And I only learned this information after a little Internet research. Yet, the most shocking thing about this film: It wasn’t terrible.

Humans Versus Zombies opens with the accidental release of a virus called H1Z1. It hits upon a coastal college town where a group of kids participate in the LARP game Humans Versus Zombies. Things get all too real when the real zombies start killing and transforming the students and townsfolk. However, despite playing HVZ and knowing about how zombie infections work, it takes them an awful long time to figure out what’s really going on.

Like most zombie films it’s pretty low budget with an unknown cast. The acting isn’t going to win any awards, but it’s not bad. I’ve seen way worse and supposedly better films. Humans Versus Zombies is competently shot and actually has some decent characters, which is usually something sorely lacking in the zombie genre.

The two main characters are the sensitive jock and his nerd friend (two characters and relationships that only exist in films) and the girls they like but could never actually get if the zombie apocalypse wasn’t happening. Part of you wants to roll your eyes, but their story is presented in such a way that isn’t not so annoying.

The other thing that really surprised me was the dialog. Granted I’m twelve years out of college now, but I’ve rarely have a seen a college film where the characters actually sounded and acted like college students. Sometimes it came off as annoying, but that just might be me getting old. At the same time there were some solid quiet moments between the chaos where the characters actually got to develop a little.

Humans Versus Zombies, a film based on a LARP game, really had no reason to be good, yet this film was pretty entertaining. If you like zombies films you won’t waste your time watching this one.

The film is presented in a 16:9 widescreen format and 5.1 surround sound. This was shot with the Red One Camera and looks pretty darn good. Almost too good in fact. I like when my zombie films look a little grainy.

There are no special features.

Yes, the film partially serves as a one big commercial for HVZ, but beyond the moments that spell out how the game is played, this is a surprisingly fun zombie film with some mildly interesting characters and some good gore.

Studio 3 Entertainment presents Humans Versus Zombies. Written by: Brian T. Jaynes and Devan Sagliani. Directed by: Brian T. Jaynes. Starring: Jonah Priour, Jesse Ferraro, Dora Madison Burge and Melissa Carnell. Running time: 92 min. Rating: R for Zombie violence and gore, language and some nudity. Released May, 8 2012. Available at Amazon.com.