| 28 Days Later... (2002)|
This English 'zombie' horror movie by Danny Boyle proved very successful along with productions such as Dawn of the Dead with which he hoped to rekindle the public's passion and appropriate response to the undead genre.
After extreme animal rights activists set free a bunch of chimpanzees infected with the rage virus the scene jumps to a man who wakes up in a deserted hospital 4 weeks later. Jim (Cillian McMurphy) quickly realises that the entire city of London appears to be empty and after dealing with the terrible truth of what had caused this apocalypse he joins forces with a handful of other survivors in order to find sanctuary.
Firstly, as far as the quality of this film goes it certainly passes the cliched, to put it bluntly 'crap' filter and with its eerie atmosphere and chilling music it certainly enters a league of its own. It is not really a zombie movie. It is actually very frightening due to it being possible in real life. An incurable virus that is spread through contact with blood that drives its host into a blind rage with no desire to do anything (including feed) other than slay the uninfected.
During the first half of this movie I was pleasantly surprised that the male characters were not portrayed in the usual thuggish and psychotic way they usually do in such genres. Rather, Jim is a likeable fellow as is the 'father' member of the group (played by a very kind Brendan Gleeson) who has a teenage daughter. No ego clashes or senseless bickering. They all act sensibly and calmly for the most part to ensure their survival.
That was until they met up with the English soldiers. At this point I realised that the whole point of this movie had more to it than the typical disaster category. It was about making you despise humanity and feel they deserve whatever they get. At least where the male of the species is concerned.
The soldiers are shown to be the pure epitome of male barbarians, who are so blood-crazed and desperate for survival they trap all the female survivors and prepare them to be raped in order to continue the lineage of humankind. The female character and the possibly underage daughter are harassed despicably by the disgusting soldiers and made to wear red dresses. The way they looked at them with sheer animalistic lust sent shivers down my spine. This is where Jim who has been sentenced to execution (for being male and opposing) having in spite of everything followed his chivalry instincts risks all to rescue the women.
I felt like puking as much as those infected buggers were when they were vomiting out blood in the end. Not since the likes of Hannibal Rising have I seen the exclusive demonisation of men taken to such extremes. It is always the soldiers - the ones who throw their lives away like red bull bottles - who are demonised so badly. It really makes no sense.
Luckily the sequel 28 Weeks Later was far superior and more equal in terms of male positivity.
- Reviewed by Mr. Doesn'tgiveaDamn
Rated: UK: 18, USA: R, Canada: 18A due to strong violence and gore, foul language and nudity.
Runtime: 1 hour, 53 minutes