I suppose the Zombie Genre is getting a little long in the tooth, but it’s not dead yet and the latest entry to take a bite out of the zombpocalypse is the new Netflix series BLACK SUMMER.
BLACK SUMMER comes with a fine pedigree; it’s produced by the crew that brought us the splatter and laughs series Z NATION.
Unlike it’s older sibling, BLACK SUMMER is un-dead serious about it’s plot: we are thrown into the first days of the Zombie Plague, where like the zombies themselves, the crumbling culture is starting to turn.
Filmed in Calgary with a lot of Canadian actors, the series doesn’t let you get too comfortable with any of the seemingly main characters who may or may not quickly end up as the main course of the roving zombie gangs.
Societal breakdown plays a role too – the old rules are tossed in favor of survival of fittest or weasellyist.
The revolving band of survivors is a multi-culti mish-mash: a deaf Arab, several illegals just up from Arizona, a Korean gal who may or may not understand more English than she lets on, a Brother from the Hood, and a lot of dispensable white meat.
Also a guy who may or may not be a street person and his faithful pooch.
The plot revolves on the exploits of this randomly tossed together group and their efforts to get to The Stadium – the sanctuary where the un-infected are supposed to gather for disbursement to Safe Zones.
Having suffered through one zombie prequel, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, until I couldn’t stand it anymore and bailed, I can tell you that this leanly produced and tightly even claustrophobiclly shot series is a cut above it’s pedigreed competitor.
Also, much of the series is presented in non-linear vignettes – think PULP FICTION storytelling style.
It works and serves to thereby give the viewer a sense of disjointedness and confusion similar to that of the characters.
Look, it’s not High Art. It’s zombieland.
It’s not the best but is far from the worst of the genre.
Just don’t watch it expecting Murphy to show up and crack wise…