Director – Scott Thomas
Cast – David Chisum, Kristen Kerr, Kevin J. O’Connor, Richard Tyson, Erick Avari, Dereck Webster, Todd Babcock, Siena Goines, Mieko Hillman, Raymond J. Barry
Release Year – 2007
This is a film I had been meaning to check out but kept putting it off thinking it would be overly cheesy and pretty bad. I decided to give it a shot and WOW, I was impressed. I love the fact that every so often we horror fans are given a low budget flick that still manages to deliver better horror than some big budget horror feature films do. Flight of the Living Dead is one of those hidden gems and although flawed(I said “low budget” remember?) it is sure to please zombie fans.
As you may have guessed from this film’s title…the plot takes place on a plain. Dr. Bennet(the well known Erick Avari) is a scientist on the run from the CIA due to his illegal research on humans. He has found a way to regenerate the dead and plans to use this “serum” to be sold as a biological weapon, giving world militaries the ability to bring back dead soldiers to keep fighting. He is on the run to France and manages to get his “cargo” onto a plane heading for France. The plane runs into some nasty weather and the turbulence causes a breach in his cargo, which includes his very first successful test subject…a zombie! Soon enough the zombie infects someone, then more and more passengers get infected, leaving a small group of survivors lead by a TSA Agent(Richard Tyson), US Marshall(David Chisum), the US Marshall’s prisoner(the hilarious Kevin J. O‘Connor), a flight attendant(Kristen Kerr), and a professional golfer to save the day and kick some zombie ass.
I was really surprised at how these filmmakers really did everything right as far as pacing, gore/entertainment, and characters go. It only takes maybe 20 minutes of development until the zombie carnage kicks in, and it never lets up. I kept thinking to myself about halfway through the film “Ok, this pacing is AWESOME, but there’s no way they will hold this up through the entire film”, and to be honest…they did! Both the films writers had nothing but a few television show credits to their name and they did a fine job with pacing given this is their first feature film. The gore in this film was pretty sweet as well, but was nowhere near as crazy as a Tromaville film or Romero’s “Day of the Dead”. Some of the zombie sequences in this film were pretty impressive and had me thinking to myself “Wow, I didn’t see that coming!”. Minor Spoiler: Probably my favorite scene would be where the zombies down in the cargo hold begin ripping through the floor of “Coach” and pulling people under. Freakin sweet! This scene reminded me of various “graveyard” scenes in other zombie films where the dead rip through the ground and start dragging victims down with them. I felt the characters were pretty interesting and felt their diversity benefited the film greatly. Kevin J. O’Connor was classic as the inmate Frank and provided much of the witty comic relief for the film, as he usually does. Some may remember him from “The Mummy” as “Beni”, Brendan Frasier’s character’s best friend, or as “Igor” in “Van Helsing”. I also liked how this film worked in a lot of firearms and gave us the classic zombie headshots we love to see. Yes the idea of guns being fired on a plane could be a bad thing, but these guys connected with their shots so its all good.
As with most low budget films, this film does have its flaws and some of them do come off as quite silly. A rogue scientist on the run from the CIA would never get such hazardous materials onboard without any inside help, and this film never mentions any inside help. Of course this is a zombie flick, so nit-picking like that really isn’t necessary because when it comes to zombies…anything is possible. Haha! Although one mistake I just cannot forgive this film for was a rather stupid one if you ask me. Whenever writers write on a topic or element in the film they usually do a bit of research on the topic right? I mean look at the writers for CSI, none of them are licensed doctors but they do tons of research so that the show makes sense and doesn’t get ripped by anyone with a scientific brain. Anywho…the mistake I cannot forgive these guys for is the scenes with the pentagon. When the film cuts to the pentagon scenes they go for the “X-Files” template and have the location on the bottom left side of the screen. The locations says “The Pentagon. Washington, DC.”. Um…hello??? The Pentagon is in Arlington, Virginia you morons! Haha, but seriously…I know not everyone knows where The Pentagon is, but you should know where it is if you are writing about it. End of story.
Overall, this is a fun modern day addition to the zombie sub-genre and is sure to please zombie buffs and any other non-self-righteous horror fans. Check this one out!