movie-review_-army-of-the-damnedScreen Media Films
2013
R

When a pair of small town cops go radio silent on a routine call a police chief must go in to investigate. The search and rescue mission becomes a fight of epic proportions when those sent in to help are confronted with a force they’ve never seen before–an army of the dead. With tones of zombie action — Army Of The Damned is a gruesome battle sure to scare the hell out of you!

I love it when a DVD back cover blurb makes such grandiose claims as the one accompanying this here movie, Army Of The Damned. That’s why I usually like to include them at the lead-in for the reviews I write, so we can all see what the promise is and what the reality turns out to be. Especially when we’re considering horror movies. Like this one. Army Of The Damned.

Essentially, Army Of The Damned is more or less an attempt by Godsmack vocalist Sully Ema to parlay himself as a horror movie star. I mean, the guy’s a practicing Wiccan, sings about dark stuff with his band, and…um, is from New England, I guess. It’s not the first time a rock star has been in a horror movie. He is in pretty good company in the film, as horror film icons Michael Berryman (who, among others, was in two Motley Crue videos in the 1980s) and Tony Todd factor in among the cast. I could also point out that former boy band heartthrob Joey Fatone is in here too, but he’s not so much a horror icon as he was an icon of the soundtracks to every 12-year-old girl in the 1990s. It’s good to see he’s found work.

Anyway, Army Of The Damned is one of those horror movies that tries to be more than just the sum of its parts, shoehorning comedy into the mix. What results is a bit of a mess, but it’s a fascinating mess to watch play out in front of you. On the positive side of things, at least they didn’t go with the typical zombies in a house type of story; instead, these are somewhat alive bodies that were taken over by an evil entity of sorts. The acting is about as what you would expect in a low budget flick like this; hammy, not really taking things seriously, while getting more misses than hits going on. The highlight here is Michael Berryman’s character of the older retired police officer that has tangled with the entity before, and is now a reclusive crazy man stowing away guns for when the time comes to fight the evil again. Tony Todd is mostly in his “I’m the badass” mode, and that’s not bad. Outside of that, everyone else seems filler, though to be fair, Sully does his best to inject some personality into his character. He’s better than most, I will admit.

Overall, though, Army Of The Damned wasn’t a complete waste of time. It’s the fun kind of quirky bad that got a few chuckles out of me, whether it was intentional or not. It works the best when the gore-drenched action hits in the third act, and we get to see everything go up in deranged glory. Of course, the X-Files rip off that was the ending seemed out of place, but why not?

You like bad movies that go for something more than the usual zombies/vampire/satanic cult vibe, and tries so hard it’s rather adorable? Check out Army Of The Damned some time.

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