Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane (2007)
The title pretty much spells out the whole thing. This is worthy of the channel now known as SyFy—which means it’s a total piece of crap.
The central premise is intriguing enough, and in the hands of someone like a young George A. Romero, this would probably be a pretty decent movie. In fact, the recently launched TV series Fear the Walking Dead is doing a run of “mini episodes,” available online, that has the same basic premise: Passengers on an airplane are faced with the sudden spread of an apocalyptic zombie plague—in a very confined space. As critical as I have been of Fear, I’m fairly confident the people behind it will do a much better job with the concept than the crew responsible for this waste of time and effort.
The stock characters range from one-dimensional to underdeveloped to thoroughly unlikable. The sets look cheap. The special effects aren’t fully convincing. And the tone is all over the place—the film can’t decide if it’s a comedy or a straight horror film. If it’s meant to be a comedy, it’s not funny. And if it’s meant to be a horror film, it’s not the slightest bit scary. In the end, it adds nothing to either genre. There’s not one original idea on display here. It was apparently a quickie made to cash in on all of the hype surrounding the film Snakes on a Plane, which came out around the same time and itself turned out to be not much of anything.
|A bald zombie doing his best "Heath Ledger as the Joker" impression|
The only people I recognized in the cast were Dale Midkiff (Pet Semetary), Richard Tyson (Kindergarten Cop, Two Moon Junction), and Raymond J. Barry (the terrific, recently concluded TV series Justified).
|Raymond J. Barry (center) is the only cast member whose career actually improved after this movie.|
Not that you need a “name cast” for a movie like this—you don’t. All you need are well developed, multi-dimensional characters that are played with nuance and realism. Which is exactly what you don’t get here.
You probably weren’t thinking about watching this movie anyway, but on the slim chance that you were, my advice is: AVOID.
© All text copyright Glenn Greenberg, 2015.