21st Aug2015

Frightfest 2015: ‘Zombie Fight Club’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Andy On, Jessica Cambensy, Michael Wong, Terence Yin, Abby Fung, Jack Kao, Han Chang, Heng-yin Chou, Sharon Hsu, Philip Ng, Chi Zhang, Kwok Cheung Tsang, Candy Ka-Man Yuen | Written and Directed by Joe Chien


A sequel to Joe Chien’s zombie horror-cum-torture porn flick, Zombie 108, Zombie Fight Club sees Andy (Andy On) and Jessica (Jessica Cambensy) – real originality in naming your characters there – escaping a zombie overrun apartment block in the corner of near-future devastated Taipei city (as seen in the original film). In the midst of this zombie holocaust, with all social structures on the brink of collapse, contaminated drugs cause hordes of rappers and strippers to become infected and join the aggressive flesheaters. When a SWAT team arrives on the scene, it seems the cavalry have arrived, but they only want the stash of drug cash…

2012’s Zombie 108 was something of a cause célèbre within the horror community. Chien’s blend of typical zombie tropes with hardcore torture porn cliches made, for some, uncomfortable watching for some, whilst others celebrated the films complete lack of boundries. now comes the sequel which – in a change of pace (OK, maybe not a change, more of an addition) – brings The Raid style action to the zombie horror. It seems Chien is never one to rest on his laurels, or shy away from cashing in on the latest movie trends!

The addition of “corrupt cops” angle and utlising the tropes of action movies means that this time round there’s more to do than just watch zombies chow down on humans. We can also see humans be just as viscious as the undead, all in the puruit of financial gain. Yes, Chien’s corrupt cops are as deadly, as evil and as downright nasty as the zombies that over-run the apartment block they are raiding. Adding the human angle also allows Chien to crack out some fantastic “cops vs. zombies” hand-to-melting-faces fight action – that, on more than one occassion, rivals The Raid for intensity and martial arts action!

Though that’s not to say Zombie Fight Club, even with the new action-movie angle, wanders too far from the path carved out by Chein’s previous film….

For those that enjoyed Zombie 108, there’s still plenty of sex, gore and depravity on show here, only this time we get some fantastic ass-kicking action added to the mix. And when I say depravity I do mean it: only a few minutes into the film there are zombies fucking humans and humans fucking zombies, dick’s being bitten off and tossed around like a hot potato. You know, the usual stuff you find in zombie flicks! Of course those adverse to CGI may not appreciate some of Chien and co.’s finer [gore] effects work – although the sheer insanity of what they create should be enough for any horror fan to overlook the less-than-stellar special effects. Interestingly, Chien turns the film on its head at times and, as the film progresses, he throws in some real moments of pathos, moments that show just what it means to be human. Moments that, if I’m honest, seem out of place amonst the sheer craziness of the rest of the movie!

As a teenager growing up in the early 90s I often read of these crazy Cat. III titles released in the Far East – you know the ones: Bunman, Riki-Oh etc. – and how they were filled with some of the sickest, nastiest and craziest gore ever committed to celluloid. Well those films can move over, with Zombie Fight Club writer/director Joe Chien truly has created one of the goriest and most insane zombie films ever made.

FYI, the films title: Zombie Fight Club? That will make complete sense once the movie hits the one-hour mark!

**** 4/5

Zombie Fight Club screens at Frightfest on Friday 28th August at 10.45am. The film is released on DVD on Monday August 31st, courtesy of Altitude Film Entertainment.


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