Code Red (2013) Review

Country of origin – U.S.A. 
Year of release – 2013
Director – Valeri Milev
Cast – Ralitsa Paskaleva, Paul Logan, Velizar Binev 


(The following review was written and contributed by Tim Walker. Tim also writes for his own blog which can be found here.)

Any film that has gasmask wearing Germans killing seven kinds of shit out of Nazi zombies, and a transvestite midget stripper, must be seen to be believed.

The film begins with some footage of the battle of Stalingrad, with a dodgy voice over telling us how horrible it was. Because nobody knew that apparently. We then cut to a very nicely shot, gruesome battle sequence of a German solider carrying a wounded comrade back to their outpost. It looks as though the Russians are about to take the German position, as it is only held by about five men. This scene is the best thing in the whole film, it is brilliant! It only goes on for about twelve minutes, but it completely blew me away. The visual style of the scene at times reminded me of Neveldine & Taylor (The Crank films), it had a great variety of shots including; POV, and dazzling panoramic shots that really put a smile on my face. This scene has not only the best cinematography in the film, it also has the best action and gore, all of which is practical. We see a solider thrust a rifle with a bayonet attached, into the middle of a guys face, as if it were a spear. If that doesn’t make you want to see this film, then I don’t know what will. At one point in the carnage a bomber flies overhead, dropping a barrel attached to a parachute, this gracefully floats down, then explodes, spewing out a thick gas which slowly creeps into the German outpost reanimating the Nazi and Soviet dead as it goes, leaving a lone German solider to fight off the flesh-hungry horde.

We then cut to the present day, where a block of wood, I mean our hero John, is being briefed on a secret mission he is about to undertake in Bulgaria. The U.S government thinks some of the aforementioned zombie gas is still around, and that it is being kept in a weapons storage facility jointly run by the U.S army, and the Bulgarian army. John must go there and follow up on a complaint made by a U.S army Doctor who was fired for attempting to expose a possible security breach. Sounds boring doesn’t it? Well that’s because it is. The middle act of this film is duller than a fifty year old pen-knife. I spent the whole time waiting for the inevitable outbreak scene where the dead would rise and people wound run around doing things about it. And once that begins the film changes gear completely. The strange thing about this gas is that it doesn’t just reanimate the dead, it turns the living into boil covered flesh hungry maniacs that sprint about faster than a horse with a mustard enema. I am not really a big fan of the “fast” zombie/infected style, but it really didn’t bother me here, it was done very well and at one point there was some actual tension, which was a nice surprise.

The film had some interesting points that provided a great deal of entertainment, but it also had some moments that made me want to bang my head on the wall in irritation. The first main issue you notice about the film is the acting, if you can call it that, to call it wooden is an insult to the forestry commission. The worst of it most definitely came from are hero John, at times instead of battle hardened, he just looked constipated. But putting that aside, the next issue with the film is the biggest and the most awful, and it is the end. Calling it “the end” implies that it concludes the story and allows us to get up to have a piss. This film shows a photo slideshow of the final moments of the films climax, I am not joking. The film ends the story with a photo slideshow of stuff I would I have liked to have seen in the actual film! Did they run out of money? Did they just give on life? Who knows.

Although this film is at times a bit dull and a bit irritating, I still enjoyed watching it. It looks very nicely made for a low budget zombie/infected film, and that is pretty rare now. I was repeatedly reminded of films like 28 Days Later, Nightmare City and the Crazies while watching it, but that’s not a bad thing as I love those films. So I am going to give this film 5.5/10. It has plenty of blood, gore and silliness to keep you entertained, but it is not without its problems.

Tim Walker


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