Friday 23 August 2013

THE DEAD 2: INDIA (2013)

Directors: Howard & Jon Ford. Cast: Joseph Millson, Meenu, Anand Goyal, Sandip Datta Gupta, Poonam Mathur. UK 2013, 90 mins.

In 2010, the Ford Brothers gave us the award-winning and critically acclaimed African-based zombie apocalypse road movie: THE DEAD. For the sequel they've swapped continents and plonked our new hero, British wind-turbine engineer (now that's a phrase you don't regularly see in print) Nicholas Burton in India. In fact we are firstly introduced to him as he's suspended half-way up a wind turbine fiddling with some wires trying to phone his pregnant girlfriend Ishani several hundred miles away. The dead begin to rise, unsuspecting bystander’s arms begin to get bitten, and soon the hospital is swamped with incoming 'bite' victims. As if that wasn't enough, Ishani's father has forbidden her from continuing the relationship with the Westerner whilst her mother lies in the next room feeling decidedly under the weather as a result of a random bite attack on the street...
The Ford Brothers are not covering new ground with this film, although it has to be said the ground they do cover is strikingly photographed. The wind farm sequence when Nicholas (Joseph Millson, the convincingly compassionate action-hero) looks down on a slow-motion zombie attack, a nightmarish motorbike ride through the dark wilderness and a field of freshly dug graves being notable visual highlights.
The slow shuffling white eyed zombies are eerily effective and the actual attacks are grim and hard-hitting. This isn't a film to cheer on the gut-munchers - or indeed our hero - particularly when he's faced with a dilemma involving a mother and child trapped in a crashed car with the undead surrounding them.
There is an emotional core to the film which threatens at times to lapse into over-sentimentality. However, the performances of the key players are genuine and raw and this authenticity adds credibility to their plight.
The Ford Brothers DEAD films are not easy shoots - conditions are challenging at best, and potentially life-threatening at worst - but the results are impressive. THE DEAD 2: INDIA is an assured and confident piece of film-making from a double-act which on this evidence provide much promise for the future.

*** (out of 5*)

 Paul Worts

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