Okay, so we've all
been here before. From the dim old days of Captain America all
the way up to "28 Days Later", we've been watching as
various government programs try to genetically design the latest
and greatest superhuman killing machines. Only occasionally does
it actually work.
will be one more hashmark in the huge column labeled "Really
Bad Ideas". Yet another monstrously bloated government initiative
(weighing out at eighty-eight billion dollars by the end), "Shadow
Walkers" looks to turn people into ravenous snarling bloodthirsty
superhuman beasties from hell, but at the same time, leave their
brains intact enough to take orders from wildly weaker human beings.
As though you needed me to tell you, Something Goes Wrong and
the monsters are let out of their cages, tearing hell out of the
research facility's staff.
But of course, even
the most thorough bloodthirsty hellmonsters will miss a few stragglers,
so of course, the last remnants of the lab are working to get
out alive and un-chewed-on.
Sure, it sounds familiar.
Because it is. Let's be honest--we all know the story of the government
super soldier project that went horribly, horribly wrong. Marvel
has one for every day that ends in "Y". But when it's
done right--much the way "Shadow Walkers" was, it can
still be an exciting and purely enjoyable experience. Much the
way "Shadow Walkers" was.
Exposition is kept
to a quiet minimum of necessary information, granted through brief,
briskly paced flashbacks that show just enough data to keep you
well-informed but not enough to distract from the plot. Better
still, there are plenty of solidly done action moments and lots
of suspense to keep you engaged throughout. Even the effects,
though clearly low budget, are at worst a mixed bag. Latex masks
are at least vaguely convincing, but the weapons effects aren't
all that great. On several occasions blood packs detonated before
characters registered impact, when, especially with a shotgun,
it should be the other way around at least, near simultaneous
Sure, the whole thing
looks and feels low-budget, shot in what looks like a factory
after hours, but the shortcomings are sufficiently small that
you almost don't notice them. The whole thing is really rather
good in the end.
The ending does a fair
job of tying up the loose ends, and leaves just enough room for
a sequel down the line, which I frankly don't cringe at the thought
of so I call it good enough.
The special features
include English and Spanish subtitles, a making of featurette,
and several trailers including "Shadow Walkers" and
All in all, "Shadow
Walkers" is unoriginal but fun, and that will make it an
excellent bridge between the various summer blockbusters that
you're probably at least thinking about watching.
Directed by Mark Steven Grove
Written by Dave Hodel
Starring Jason Coviello, Jennifer Summers, Clay Adams, Cortni
Produced by Carie Grant, Dave Marchiori
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