FILM REVIEW: Exit Humanity (2011)

So, after watching Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter...I was in the mood for another genre film that involved the Civil War era. Much to my excitement/surprise, I found a film called Exit Humanity  that fit the bill perfectly. Only, instead of vampires, this film involved zombies. Was it any good? on the "Continue Reading" button and find out, silly!

Exit Humanity is the latest film from writer/director John Geddes. And the man seriously does a hell of a job weaving a hell of a film. It's not a movie for everyone, but for the hardcore genre fans out there, zombie purists in particular, this film should satisfy on most levels.

The story follows a journal (similar to AL:VH) being written by Edward Young (Mark Gibson), a young soldier on his way home after the Civil War. That might've made an interesting story on its own. However, throw in a sudden zombie outbreak and you have something altogether unique.

Aside from the journal thing, the  film shares similarities with another film that finally came out earlier this year called The Dead. And it's only really in the fact that both protagonists from both films wander around the zombie-infested lands searching for some kind of hope...only to be met with different situations at every corner. Here, Young has lost his wife to zombie infection and goes off looking for his son in the dark woods. He goes through all kinds of deep emotional struggle until meeting up with another lost soul searching for his sister. It's not long before they go up against a rogue group of soldiers lead by General Williams (the always awesome Bill Mosely).

It should be said that the acting in the film deserves high praise. Especially when you see someone like Mark Gibson holding his own weight against genre veterans like Dee Wallace, Bill Mosely and Stephen McHattie. Even the narration done by Brian Cox, combined with the powerfully stirring music of the film, serves as a wonderfully gritty soundtrack to the cool animated breaks and amazing cinematic landscapes throughout the chaos. Exit Humanity  is a treat in the talent department.

Where the film stumbles are within the budgetary restraints as well as the timing issues. And these are flaws that I'll take any day of the week versus the kind of flaws where filmmakers don't give any fuck about your film viewing experience.

Although it is meant as a slow journey within the human soul, the film ultimately feels overlong and aimless at times. I feel like, with proper editing, there's a flawless picture hidden within, what feels like, the cinematic equivelant to an unfinished clay sculpture. Sometimes a good editor can sift through all the extra stuff and piece together a tighter film with smooth pacing. Had this film been given that proper treatment, it might've been a much better experience.

As far as the budgetary issues go, you can't really fault a filmmaking team for not having enough money for their movie. Because I enjoyed the film as a whole, I won't pick apart the fact that most of the zombies in the film look more like dudes walking around in white Halloween make up and black contacts from Party City. It's not so distracting in that it will take you out of the film or anything...but, it does hinder the experience a little. The gore, on the other hand, is nicely done.

Exit Humanity is a film that you will either really enjoy...or really have a hard time staying awake for. If you can muster the length of the journey, you will be treated to that rare subgenre surprise. A zombie film that actually works. It is a beautiful cinematic feast for the eyes filled with emotional performances by really talented actors. Even though the title suggests otherwise, the film is full of much more humanity than mosts films available at your local Red Box today and I will say that if we had 20 films like Exit Humanity  every year from now on, the genre would be a much better place than it is now.

Thanks for reading,