Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fi' Dolla' Show! Severed (2005)


Ah, man, where to begin? Severed starts off promising and quickly fizzles, dragging along about 3 times longer than was welcome. Bad, just bad.

I gotta tell you, at first I was intrigued with the creative spin on the slow zombie genre. Severed is set in an isolated logging camp in the Pacific Northwest. It seems that the big bad multinational logging concern was sponsoring genetic engineering on the forest in the hope of increasing yields. Instead, the trees begin developing a mutagenic sap that turns people into mindless 28 Days Later style zombies when introduced into the blood stream. Bad news for the loggers in said camp. Bad news for the hippy protesters chaining themselves to trees. Bad news for the CEO's son, who shows up to find out why production has ceased. Initially, Severed hits the ground running.

Then the sour notes began to hit. Terrible CGI? Oh, you betcha! Gorehounds beware; the bloodsplatters are particularly unconvincing. No one expects topshelf gore effects in low budget films like this but Severed looks like they used MS Paint to draw blood flying around. Speaking of blood, when you completely coat your characters faces in blood, it's tough to tell them apart! Especially with lifeless, one-dimensional characters as presented in Severed.

Action sequences are likewise unconvincing. When battling the zombies, the actors just seemed to be attempting to avoid hurting themselves.

Corny dialogue? Hell yes, corn by the truckload. Every other line made me wince a little. I just had absolutely NO chance to immerse myself in this movie.

Well, I could go on like this for hours but I just don't have it in myself to beat this particular dead horse.

Can I say anything nice about Severed? Well, it's not the worst horror movie I've ever seen. Severed promised a neat original hook but completely choked. Look, no one expects much from a flick that was part of a $10 multipack from Best Buy. So I can't say my expectations were too high. Severed lived right down to them.

Toolshed verdict? 1/10 blood-splattered plaid shirts.

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