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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Eaters: Rise of the Dead" or "Eaters")

 

directed by Luca Boni, Marco Ristori
Italy 2010

 

A terrorist called 'The Plague Spreader' has unleashed a virus on the world. First, it caused a wave of infertility and brought the birth rate down to zero. It killed the women, and then the men. Then it brought them back. Even the pope has committed suicide! Igor (Alex Lucchesi) and Alen (Guglielmo Favilla) are two survivors given shelter and food by by scientist Gyno (Claudio Marmugi) in exchange for bringing back zombie test subjects while scouring the countryside for other survivors. Among Gyno's test subjects is Alexis (Rosella Elmi), Alen's wife who is infected yet alive (possibly due to her unauthorized participation in a highly unethical and illegal fertility experiment). Gyno requests that Igor and Alen visit the far-off Sector F in search of zombie tests subjects while looking for survivors, but they take side trips to trade zombie body parts for beer with a morbid and demented artist nicknamed "Caravaggio" - or "Arsehole" as Igor calls him - and to settle a score with Rudi (Riccardo Floris), right hand man of a band of neo-Nazis headed by Fuhrer (Fabiano Loi). While driving in the countryside, they pick up a radio broadcast by The Plague Spreader and go after him. They discover young Christina (Elisa Ferretti) who may be the terrorist's daughter, meet some talking zombies, and discover from Alexis' old research partner Dr. Cangiato (Roberto Mariotti) that Gyno's own experiments have a more sinister intent and may bring on something worse than a zombie apocalypse. Although German-born big budget American schlock (or dreck) director Uwe Boll's (HOUSE OF THE DEAD) name is plastered all over the promotional materials, he did not produce this film. Directors Boni and Ristori sent promo videos and emails out on the web in search of support and promotion, and Boll was reportedly the only person to answer them. However one may feel about his films, his name aroused enough curiosity among horror fans to get EATERS noticed. The result is a very well-made if derivative zombie epic/road movie with some cool prosthetic zombies make-up and animatronics (the effects were supervised by co-producer David Bracci, who once worked under Dario Argento's regular special make-up and visual effects designer Sergio Stivaletti) - if one discounts the mix of CGI blood and fake blood that obviously hits a sheet of glass between the zombie and the camera - although there is very little flesh-eating on-camera. Lucchesi and Favilla are good leads, but their characters are rather lazily contrasted (Igor is an extreme pessimist while Alen always wants to give people the benefit of the doubt, even though he has no more reason to trust them than Igor). Ferretti is also good as Christina, and Marmugi and Floris appropriately chew the scenery (though, not as zombies). Although cast as the central zombie (well, living dead hybrid), Elmi does not have much to do. Some of the plot holes draw attention to themselves (despite the high voltage fences, Gyno's compound seems sloppily protected, the heroes always stop their car in clumps of trees and shrubbery where zombies can suddenly pop up, and we learn little of what qualified the two of them to become zombie hunters post-apocalypse). Like the Uruguayan horror movie THE SILENT HOUSE, EATERS was shot on a Canon DSLR (the EOS7 in this case), which yielded a very strong image to start with. The directors quip that although they tried to avoid the amateurish look of their zombie shorts, the budget for EATERS was "less than a wedding video," but the look of the film is quite impressive (thanks to a lot of color correction and digital matte work) if unoriginal. Justin Bennett's and Stefano Rossello's score lend a further degree of slickness. Compared to other entries in the current glut of zombie epics, EATERS strongly resembles - for better or worse - the current look of a mainstream horror movie.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release:

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DVD Review: Chelsea Films - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Chelsea Films

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:30:51 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.40:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.52 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Italian Dolby Digital 5.1; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Chelsea Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40:1

Edition Details:
• The Making of EATERS (16:9; 33:38)
• VFX Breakdown (16:9; 3:48)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:21)

DVD Release Date: June 13th, 2011
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Chelsea Films' anamorphic, progressive transfer appears to faithfully represent the HD cinematography on SD media. The 5.1 and 2.0 mixes are emphatic with clear dialogue, some shock sound effects, and rockers Justin Bennett's and Stefano Rossello's pulsing score. The optional English subtitles are Anglo-centric (with spellings like "tyres" and terminology like "the bog").

The behind-the-scenes featurette includes interviews with the directors, crew, and leads along with clips from their previous individual zombie shorts along with excerpts from the three EATERS promo videos they launched on the web while seeking funding and support (it would have been nice to see the promos in their entirety). One of the director's makes an impassioned defense of Uwe Boll (I think it's great that he got behind this project, but that doesn't make me suddenly like any of his own directorial works that I've seen). The visual effects breakdown segment includes some green screen and digital matte work, but much of it is secondary color correction adjustments to the overall look (aping the desaturated, contrasty bleach-bypass look so popular in action films) with before and after shots. A trailer rounds out the extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Chelsea Films

Region 2 - PAL

 

 




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