Redcon-1 (2018)

Posted in Reviews by - January 01, 2020
Redcon-1 (2018)

A daring, highly ambitious UK zombie film which attempts to achieve a vast amount in terms of style, production and scale despite its low budget. Director Chee Keong-cheung (Underground) produces effective, gory carnage in the rabid style of Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, before settling into an emotionally wrought second-half which leans more towards the excellent Korean film, Train to Busan. Then there is a Mexican influence courtesy of El Mariachi producer and actor, Carlos Gallardo, with a Mad Max-style biker gang in ‘Day of the Dead’ masks and occasional bursts of traditional song. The energetic first-half involves a crack team of mercenaries being dropped into the quarantined zone after a viral outbreak which turns everyone in greater London into the walking dead. Their job is to find the doctor responsible for the virus before a nuke is dropped on the place. The hired muscle is a paper-thin group of gun-toting heavyweights, and we only ever get glimpses into their characters (and their boobs, in the case of Katarina Leigh Waters – the only woman in the team – in a particularly gratuitous and unnecessary scene which completely derails the film). Oris Erhuero is the tortured mercenary at the heart of the story; his selfless act is to protect a small girl who may hold the cure to the virus in a nod to another great British zombie film, The Girl with All the Gifts. There’s little in the way of originality here, although there is an interesting idea in having some of the zombies retain part of their former personalities. Some of them launch into athletic kung fu action, demanding the high-kicking best from long-time Chee collaborator, Mark Strange; we also get to see an undead postman and some weird S&M zombies. The film would have benefitted from a few more lighter moments like these.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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