Throughout most of the 2010s, a Zombie Apocalypse was the most overused plot device in all media. You couldn’t get away from the undead (kinda fitting, when you think about it). On TV we had shows like The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, iZombie, Z Nation and (to a lesser degree) Ash vs. Evil Dead. The local movie theater didn’t give you much of a reprieve, with Train to Busan, World War Z, Warm Bodies and Zombieland. And these only scratch the surface of what was out there. Hollywood found its new cash cow and milked it for all it was worth.
At first, we the people loved everything we could get our eyes on. The Walking Dead was cable TV’s No. 1 show. Train to Busan gained critical acclaim for its fantastic storytelling. Date movies like Warm Bodies even put a romantic light on the plight of the ghouls. But much like the deluge of “COVID Cinema” films (see my last review for more info), people grew tired of Zombies.
The old saying, “too much of a good thing is not a good thing,” was proven to be true. For some, it was caused by the deaths of beloved characters on TWD. For others, it was the repetitive nature of this genre, as no one put much effort into actually coming up with something innovative for the undead. By the end of the decade, the love of moving corpses was flipped to loathing.
Now that we are three years removed from what I affectionately call the “Zombie years,” I wanted to see what was out there in the genre. I chose an independent action/horror flick from 2022 called Bridge of the Doomed.
After a bloody attack on a U.S. Army base, General Vasquez (Robert LaSardo) sends a unit led by Sgt. Henandez (Kate Watson) to secure a bridge that was used by the Zombies until reinforcements arrive. While defending the bridge, the soldiers encounter human survivors who have great disdain for the soldiers being there, as well as a monster that lives under the bridge. Casualties mount, with the soldiers in a triple battle for survival against humans, Zombies and whatever the heck that thing is under the bridge.
Bridge Of The Doomed helps solidify my belief that Zombie films are regurgitated and dull. It is almost as if director Michael Su and writer Adrian Milnes had a dart board with horror movie/Zombie tropes and just threw darts until they had the full story. If you have seen any Zombie film, you have an idea of this film’s complete story: Soldiers fight the undead. Human survivors hate the soldiers for seemingly no real reason. Reinforcements never arrive, as they were diverted by a colonel. And finally, an even larger wave of walkers is on its way.
The only twist in this movie is the use of the demonic monster under the bridge (maybe it is a troll, but who knows). It very much felt like I was watching the last Rick Grimes episode of The Walking Dead, though this time the bridge was not blown up and our main heroine dies. Not exactly what I would call good writing.
As far as the visuals go, Bridge of the Damned only slightly gets better. Much of the movie is well lit and visually appealing. However, there is a lot of shaky camera footage during the gunfights, which were on the verge of making me nauseous. The scenes that took place overnight or under the bridge were too dark, leaving a lot to the imagination (I still don’t know what the thing under the bridge really looked like, as you only see it in the dark). The Zombie makeup was horrendous, with many looking like they used a makeup pallet from Party City to paint their faces. If you are going to do a serious Zombie movie, at least make your Zombies look scary and not like coked-up addicts.
Bridge Of The Doomed really has no positives I could find. It earns a solid one out of five stars. Maybe in the heyday of the Zombie genre, it would have worked. But now it just reminds me of how much I am done with the whole concept. Every director is allowed a misstep, so I am hoping that the next offering from Michael Su is better. With such a low threshold, that should be attainable.