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The Horde


Rod Lott January 14th, 2011

When I heard that George A. Romero's much-ballyhooed return to zombies, 2005's "Land of the Dead," would be set in a high-rise, I got excited.

People trapped in a building with the undead swarming in? What could go wrong?
 
Practically everything, as we learned. Romero barely used the tower, making "Land" rather barren, thrill-wise. For the guy credited with inventing the genre, he sure hasn't done much to advance or innovate it.
 

Vive la France! That country now gives us "The Horde," one bloody battle that's exactly the type of exercise we wanted "Land" to be, high-rise and all!
 
Aiming to take down the gang members who killed a cop, the authorities stage a raid on the condemned apartment building the gang has commandeered as its HQ. The cops enter, but things immediately go wrong as the criminal element shows it has the upper hand. A couple of dead officers later, however, all of Paris is suddenly, inexplicably aflame and — wait for it — the dead rise!
 
From there, the remaining good guys and bad forge a temporary alliance to get to the ground floor and out alive. That's easier said than done, because these zombies haul ass. And the only thing they do faster than run? Chomp.
 
Nearly wall-to-wall action, "The Horde" slows down only long enough for the undesirables to plot their escape. It's important to note that their route is plotted to maximize bloodiness, and directors Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher do not skimp on the red stuff. It flows like chocolate in a wedding reception fountain. Acting is not important; alive-on-undead violence is, and it comes in many forms. Like a female cop dispatching one member of the undead with a forcefully tipped refrigerator.
 
IFC's DVD comes stuffed with extras, including an altered opening, a short film and umpteen ever-so-slim variations of the cool cover art. —Rod Lott

 
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