There are two main groups of people in the world. You're either a B or you're not. To B, or not to B? That is the question. Right? Of course, I'm not referring to Shakespeare's Hamlet, rather to those B-movies we either love or hate. Most people think low budget when hearing anything B related; but I find there's so much more to one of these films. It is possible to have a great budget, and still be a B-movie. It's not always about the cheese guys and gals.
Let's face the music. The B-movie is about humor and style. Obviously, having a small budget can make a serious film look like a B-movie, but a true B film takes those preconceptions and has a blast with them. It's about comedy. It's about flare. It's about doing what you want and how you want to do it. Gregory Wolk seems to understand this completely. He's put together a screenplay that is adventurous and hilarious to watch unfold onscreen. The look itself? Actually... as far as B-movies go, this film looks pretty good. Sure, you still have a corn-dog visual aesthetic - but it's fun. Loads of fun.
Plot in a nutshell? The few survivors of the dead planet Rathe, after narrowly escaping the horrors of a planet in it's death throes, end up on Earth. Let me be clear however, by dead I mean undead and by undead I mean zombies. Landing on a near future version of our home planet yields two big revelations. The first is that God is the same on both planets. The second is that a zombie apocalypse is starting right here on Earth. The same apocalypse that destroyed the home world of our hero visitors. The question is then this. Is it to late for us earthlings? This final question opens the doors for "Apocalypse Rising" and the doors don't just open... they blast open.
Aliens with a penis shaped rocket. Blood, gore and zombies. God, Jesus and obviously, lots of sex without the hard-core nudity. What more can you ask in a B-movie? Jokes? Yes-sir. They're here as well.
What's really to write about the technicalities of a B-movie? Everyone knows what they're going to get and you're either going to love it or hate it. Richard Lowry who directed, manages to keep it real, to the point, and comedic. By keeping it real I mean keeping things in line with the genre. You want cheesy? You got it! In all it's glorious B-movie goodness. The one liners, the visuals... it's all here waiting for you to enjoy over a few beers. Yet at the same time, as far as B-movies go, "Apocalypse Rising" at times seems a little polished to be an actual B-movie. Clearly not all through-out, but there are moments where you could forget... even if only for a moment... that this is a film to have fun with.
This brings me to the massive cast themselves. I gotta say that this troupe is half the B-movie charm. No question. Here's the funny thing though - it's not all one liners and odd, fun deliveries. There are some really well acted moments from numerous cast mates. It's almost as if the actors of this film were all thinking the same thing: Yes. We're going to have a hell of a good time with this movie - but don't kid yourself viewers. Given the chance, we can all hold our own in a serious situation or role. Don't doubt it for a second. This is the impression I got. Some great talent having fun with a fun script. Perhaps that helps elevate this movie a peg or three. Or maybe it's...
...The blood and gore effects. These effects were well above the standard B-movie, low budget fare. I loved them! Perhaps some will think they look a little good for the content. I don't. Perfect.
As the credits rolled I had one thought in mind. Sequel? Other than that, I had a great time watching this. Back to my opening paragraphs, in case you hadn't noticed... I'm one of those B-movie lovers. For me, this was awesome sauce oozing from my screen. Another thought I had was that even those who don't like B-movies may still enjoy this film. That's saying a lot. In the end, I have one recommendation. Grab some friends. Grab some beers and check this one out. Fun times await.