Director: Poj Arnon
Cast: Bhuvadol Vejvongsa, Kittipat Samantrakulchai, Korakrit Laotrakul, Worachai Sirikongsuwan, Supakrit Thinjun, Pasakorn Sanrattana, Jutalak Chaweewannamas, Preampiti Umprasirt
Runtime: 1 hr 43 mins
Rating: NC-16 (Violence)
Released By: Encore Films and Cathay-Keris Films
Opening Day: 17 August 2017
Synopsis: After his parents went missing from a visit to the hospital, Audy (Korakrit Laotrakul) and a group of friends decide to break into the now-quarantined area to find out what happened. They soon discover the horrific truth hidden behind those walls… The hospital is overrun with zombies! Trapped with these brutal beings, Audy rings his brother Lambo (Bhuvadol Vejvongsa) for help, but the conversation gets cut midway. Lambo, accompanied by their dim-witted brother Cooper (Kittipat Samantrakulchai) and friends Auto (Worachai Sirikongsuwan), Krasoon (Supakrit Thinjun) and Bas (Pasakorn Sanrattana), ventures into the hospital to save Audy. Only there did Lambo and gang realise the terrible fate that awaits them, as they encounter hordes of zombies, hungering for their flesh and blood. Fortunately, they are saved by a mysterious woman (Jutalak Chaweewannamas). They learn that a deadly virus outbreak in the hospital years ago turned everyone inside into zombies. The boys must now fight their way out in order to stay alive. Will they survive this impending zombie apocalypse?
There’s a slew of disposable films coming out these days. They tend to be offsprings from a successful title or copycat formula, and usually ends up a poorer cousin of the original. Zombie Fighters is director Poj Arnon’s latest installment and to reference the earlier metaphor, this would be a one-ply - it’s physically there but functionally useless.
Moving from his trio of ghostly movies (Make Me Shudder, Shudder Me Mae Nak, Make Me Shudder 3), Arnon has decided to switch out spooks for ghouls, and tackle zombies instead. His assembly of teenage pretty boys to battle a horde of undead in a deserted hospital unfortunately ends up trapping the audience instead, in a loop of misfired slapstick antics and a gaping black hole of logic.
A quick scene shows us that soldiers have quarantined a hospital, with the intention to kill all the citizens within, when they get overtaken by zombies. Cut to one year later, a group of boys have taken it upon themselves to venture into the dilapidated building. Why? This was never really made clear until much later, which makes all the screaming and running around really senseless.
When the lead Lamdo (Bhuvadol Vejvongsa) gets a call from his brother Audy (Korakrit Laotrakul) in that group asking for help, he heads down with his entourage, including his mentally-challenged third brother Cooper (Kittipat Samantrakulchai). They join up and eventually locate their dead parents - the reason for this exploring - and try to get out of the hospital.
Zombie Fighteris really bad at keeping things alive. For one thing, the storyline suffers from schizophrenia, as it gets pulled in all directions from the ensemble cast. Should it follow the goofy leader in his rescue? Or maybe we should see how one friend Auto (Worachai Sirikongsuwan) betrays his friends to save his own life? And what about the half-zombie lady Gel (Jutalak Chaweewannamas) who tries to save them from the rampaging horde?
With over 15 characters vying for screen time, the flick quickly becomes incoherent. Worse still, there’s no attempt at logic of any sort.
Cooper for one, will amble around with zombies, teasing them with an intestine thrown at his brother, and yet is pretty much screaming and running away the rest of the time. When one of the friend gets infected early on, he threatons to chomp on one of his friend, but is pulled along when the group is saved, joining them in their escape, only to suddenly try attacking them again when they are safe in a room. It’s pretty obvious Arnon is just trying to keep the screams coming. But it just gets extremely old, extremely quick.
You’ll get scene after scene of the boys running away from zombies, trapping them with gurneys, then running away again. The zombies will in the meantime try their obvious best not to bite any of the actors, just so they can carry on their antics.
Halfway through, having given up on motivation or logic (two separate big groups can enter the hospitable but can’t find their way out), I try to enjoy the film for its cheesy humour but it never lands a laugh.
Right up to the end, when the boys claw against an exit with bright light streaming in when it’s night outside, when a getaway car is clearly shown on the highway but later has two zombies dropping on the roof, and when a video character appears in real life with his team Avengers-style, I was unable to figure out the purpose of this film.
(Erratic storyline and unabashed non-logic buries this horror comedy which is neither scary nor funny)
Review by Morgan Awyong