Scream Horror Magazine

PLAN Z: Film Review

Posted on: November 17th, 2015

One man has a plan for a zombie outbreak and when one occurs it will take all his will to stick to it and all of his courage to change it.

Not content in sitting back and waiting for the Zombie Apocalypse to consume the world, Craig (Stuart Brennan) takes matters into his own hands as he prepares for a potential outbreak by implementing Plan Z.  All might have thought of him as mad as he stocked up on cans, packed emergency bag, selected the right tools to do the right job, worked out the timings of routes etc. but his worst fears were realised as the Attila virus spread throughout the world.

Alone and afraid, Craig watches the whole world fall apart around him until he gets a call from old friend called Bill (Mark Paul Wake).  Together they vacate their hometown of Dunfermline, Scotland and head towards a more secluded and safer place to live or survive.

Within the first 5 minutes or so I felt that we were on a promise of an extraordinary independent film with high quality production values. However, by filming in locations such as Verona, Chicago and France (albeit they were fleeting moments) it is quite clear to see where the budget for Plan Z was spent. As with a lot of films out there we aren’t shown gratuitous violent deaths because the budget won’t allow it. So in this case, I think I would have rather have sacrificed Chicago to watch some Zombie faces being smashed full on into the ground. What we want in a zombie film is visceral, bloody hellish decapitations and dismemberments. Not implied violence.

Plan Z undoubtedly draws comparisons to other Zombie films that have had the great pleasure of gracing our screens. First and foremost we have the title, which will be likened to Marc Forster ‘s epic picture World War Z. Next having to be armed and dangerous, one of the weapons of choice is a cricket bat, which as we know is an iconic tool from Edgar Wrights fantastical zombie flick Shaun of the Dead. Finally, we are presented with derivatives from Danny Boyles 28 Days Later. Although eerie and beautiful, the musical score from Alexis French is not all too dissimilar from John Murphy’s masterpiece. In addition, near to the beginning of the film, we are presented with the title ‘28 days after infection’.

I would like to think that these similarities are through homage or nods to this particular genre rather than outright plagiarism.

If the sources are correct, the writer, director and lead man Stuart Brennan has a clear passion for film. Setting up the Newport International Film Festival, establishing the Film Festival Guild to name but a few, is all pretty impressive stuff. This was why I was hoping for more. I wanted out of the box creativity, diversity and that intensity which is felt when something magical is enfolding before you. But, although not a bad film, I don’t believe that it is a great film. It doesn’t seem to offer anything that is new to an already saturated sub genre of horror. I was left with a feeling of total disillusion and confusion through the introduction of random characters and by not having a definitive ending. Plus, throughout Plan Z, Craig continually provides a narrative, which I found to be slightly heavy and all too consuming. (No pun intended)

I would watch it to show support to independent horror filmmakers but I wouldn’t go in thinking that your socks will be blown away with excitement.  Plan Z doesn’t bring anything new to the table but it’s definitely something to get your teeth into.

Words by Amanda Hunt @man_ders11

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