Zombie Hunter Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by Signature Entertainment
Directed by K. King
Written by K. King and Kurt Knight
2013, 93 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 21st October 2013
Martin Copping as Hunter
Danny Trejo as Jesus
Claire Niederpruem as Alison
Terry Guthrie as Jerry
Shona Kay as Female Reporter
Jeff Kirkham as Funny Man
Danny Trejo, playing a a priest called Jesus, killing zombies. There, done. There's more to Zombie Hunter than that description implies, but at least seventy percent of the film's novelty comes from seeing Trejo do his usual bit while bedecked in a dog collar and priestly gear (when not topless, that is) like some sort of massive pockmarked missionary.
Don't let the title or cover art mislead you, though – Danny Trejo's Jesus is not the zombie hunter in question. In fact, Jesus is but a supporting character in the life of 'Hunter', a man with nothing to his name but a battered Camaro, his guns and his booze. Wandering the post-apocalyptic wasteland in the aftermath of a drug induced zombie uprising, the Hunter gets his kicks from killing zombies and ripping off Woody Harrelson's act in Zombieland. One day, Hunter runs into a group of survivors, led by Trejo's Jesus, and he decides to join their merry band. Well, with Danny Trejo on preaching duties, you'd be daft not to. I hear he cooks up a mean Old El Paso fajita kit, too.
A low-budget faux Grindhouse feature, K. King's Zombie Hunter could have gone either way. There are few things I dread more, these days, than seeing a low-budget zombie film arrive in my postbox, and Zombie Hunter was no exception. I wasn't swayed by the presence of Trejo, steadily losing fan credibility by making Old El Paso adverts (however awesome) and terrible Machete sequels. Thankfully, this sees the Trej on fine form, in a beefy (not an Old El Paso reference) supporting role that gives him plenty of room to fight and be cool, without outstaying his welcome. If anything, we could do with a lot more. A scene in which a topless Jesus hacks up zombies to a horrible dubstep soundtrack is better than the entirety of Machete Kills. Mind you, his Old El Paso advert is also better than the entirety of Machete Kills, so maybe that's not saying much.
Martin Copping doesn't do quite so well as Hunter, but he's given enough booze to chug and zombies to kill that his occasionally grating tough guy act keeps just on the right side of tolerable. We could do without the terrible whiny American rock that plays over his suicide attempts though, and his voice is entirely stupid. Hunter and the rest of the characters are disposable caricatures, barely memorable after they get killed off. Quite how Trejo came to be in a movie called Zombie Hunter without playing the titular Hunter is beyond me, but I'm glad he's there.
Anything to distract from the fact that there's too much CGI, and the story and monsters are Resident Evil-lite, feeling desperately derivative of Robert Rodriguez and his Planet Terror. While we're at it, I could have done without the pole dancing routine too.
Still, for all its faults, there's no denying that Zombie Hunter is a complete blast. Even when Danny Trejo isn't around (which is most of the time) it's more enjoyable than your average bit of cheap zombie nonsense. Praise Jesus, Zombie Hunter is a lot of fun.
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