"Hood of the Living Dead
You know, I'm generally
in favor of zombie movies. Generally, I'm always willing to look
a little more charitably on zombie movies as they represent the
highest ideals of survival horror, my personal favorite subgenre
It's movies like "Hood
of the Living Dead" that test that fondness to its limits.
Okay, so here's what's
going on in "Hood of the Living Dead". Ricky is a researcher
working on, of all
the things, a "cellular regeneration formula," designed
to revive sick and dying tissue.
One night, his little
brother, who probably was voted "Most Likely To Be Tried As
An Adult" in the yearbook takes three steps out of the house
and gets shot repeatedly by several local drug dealers.
Ricky, in a teary panic
(not too badly acted by Carl Washington), calls his lab partner
Scott and tells him to bring a sample of the formula, because...okay,
do I really have to tell you? He's gonna shoot a load of that stuff
into his slowly cooling brother.
Which, of course...okay,
you see it coming by now. This is gonna fire up the zombie train
like no tomorrow.
First off, the Quiroz
Brothers have a couple good-sized plot holes in this sucker. For
one, I'm having a really hard time believing that, somehow, the
capital of cutting-edge biotechnological and genetic research in
California is OAKLAND.
Yeah, you heard me right.
This whole thing takes place in Oakland.
Secondly, the company
where Ricky and Scott work must have zero security--Scott managed
to squeal tires into the parking lot, after hours, and snag a vial
of something that must have cost millions of dollars to research
and produce all without so much as showing someone his driver's
Plus, it's hard to grasp
just why Ricky changed his shirt between twenty four minutes thirty
two seconds and twenty five minutes thirty six seconds.
And for the life of me,
why on earth did it take the Quiroz Brothers almost a third of the
movie to get the plot to a point where we could even see a zombie?
That's right--it takes almost half an hour to even REACH the point
where we can actually see a zombie. And for a movie called "Hood
of the Living Dead", that pretty much depends on zombies, zombies
are actually pretty few and far between.
And even once they got
to the zombies, they pretty much ignored the standard Romero physics.
Head shots do nothing to these zombies--it's heart shots that do
the job here. Plus, these zombies can run. But at least the Quiroz
Brothers managed to stick to the concept that a zombie bite transferred
the zombie effect.
In fact, they even made
one of their characters a mercenary / assassin named "Romero".
How nice of you to name part of this bastard movie after the illegitimate
I'm rather dismayed by the whole thing. They spent a huge amount
of time getting to the point that the zombies showed up that they
had only a little time with them on screen. So as a result, there's
no expansion at all. Indeed, except for only under a dozen people,
nobody even knows that zombies are on the loose in Oakland.
I like my zombie movies
to be Zombie Apocalypses, not just some little minor-league zombie
romp through gang country.
The ending, however,
is a nice twist. Plus it leaves the door open for sequels, and I
think doing another "Hood of the Living Dead", with the
zombies already in play and all over the United States, would be
a good idea.
The special features
include outtakes, a gallery, and trailers for "Hood of the
Living Dead", "I Got Five On It", "F.E.D.S.",
"Beef", "Beef II", "The MC: Why We Do It",
"Letter to the President", "Hip Hop Immortals",
"Lyricist Lounge: Dirty States of America", "Dunsmore",
All in all, "Hood
of the Living Dead" was a nice try that just didn't manage
to make any headway. It spent too much time building to the zombies
and not enough time using them to any effect.
GRADE: 2 stars **
the Living Dead
Directed by Jose Quiroz, Eduardo Quiroz
Written by Jose Quiroz, Eduardo Quiroz
Starring Carl Washington, Chris Angelo, Brandon Daniels, Jose Rosete
Produced by Jose Quiroz, Eduardo Quiroz
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