05th Oct2018

‘Redcon-1′ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Oris Erhuero, Carlos Gallardo, Mark Strange, Joshua Dickinson,  Michael Sheehan, Katarina Leigh Waters, Martyn Ford, Akira Koieyama | Written by Chee Keong Cheung, Steve Horvath | Directed by Chee Keong Cheung

REDCON-1-poster

Its safe to say that zombie movies became all the more scary with the introduction of the free running zombies from movies like 28 Days Later, World War Z and I Am Legend but something I was not really prepared to see was a Doomsday-esque plot with free thinking militarised highly combative “pack mentality” zombies like they have in Redcon-1... That my friends is how you freshen a zombie genre that has been watered down an made pretty laughable by shows like The Walking Dead!

I have been a tad lethargic when it comes to the z”ombie survival thriller” moniker as of late but when you take a look at quotes like “The Raid meets 28 Days Later” and “A fast-paced, action packed zombie epic unlike any other,” well its hard not to look into it is it? And then when a quick look at the IMDB page reveals the sheer mass of talent working in or on this movie, well its hard not to be intrigued and optimistic about Redcon-1.

Much like Neil Marshals Doomsday, a virus has broken out in the UK and ground zero is a London prison. The government has managed to short-term quarantine the virus to the South East of England. However if we are to survive we need a cure and because of “movie cliches” the only doctor who may be able to help is actually in the Quarantine Zone. That’s right intelligence suggests that Dr Julian Raynes is inside the zone so we need to send in a crack team of 8 Special Forces Soldiers on a suicide mission to find and extract him. As they make way to the target they find that the masses of undead are not their only concern. With the team fighting among themselves, coming to terms with their own demons and finding separate factions of survivors within the zone. Oh and there is the fact the military officials may not have the team or the doctors best interests at heart… Bastards!!!

Lets talk about our Special Forces team, starting with arguably our leading role in Cpt Marcus Stanton (Oris Erhuero) – while this mission is important to everyone its pretty personal for him due to his wife being one of the first to lose her life to the virus. Next up we have the moral compass of the group in Sgt Frederick Reeves (Carlos Gallardo), for Reeves its about completing the mission with zero casualties (well human casualties). Every group needs an inside antagonist and that is Lieut Frank Perez (Mark Strange), possibly the one guy who can go toe to toe with his captain because he is a total bad-ass and their interests don’t align. Joshua Dickinson is PVT Perry Bernstein the wet behind the ears new recruit. My personal favourite member of the team is Lieut Rodrigo Gonzalez (Michael Sheehan), who to be fair gets a lot of the best lines.

We round the team out with Sgt Kira Paige (Katarina Leigh Waters), Corp Jacob Gallagher (Martyn Ford) and Lieut Simon Lau (Akira Koieyama) as our resident ass kickers with ultimate skills. Everyone is on absolute top form in this flick delivering blistering performances, insanely good fight choreography and maintaining a sense of heart within the team. You really feel when one falls, they all bare the scars. While some of the dialogue on paper no doubt looked corny, the lines are delivered with intent. Does the movie lean on tropes? Of course it does! But it does so with a level of intelligence, knowing what Redcon-1 is and moreover what its striving to be… A gritty, British, balls to the wall zombie action flick with the biggest pair of ‘Cajones’ you will see. I bloody enjoyed this movie a shit ton.

Chee Keong Cheung has made a great movie here and its pretty obvious to see why, when some of the best creative producers are involved: Carlos Gallardo, producer of the El Mariachi trilogy (El himself in El Marachi); Kevin Eastman co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.; Stephen L’Heureux, producer of Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Mark Strange, a huge UK talent with numerous acting and producing roles to his name including Batman Begins. Ioanna Karavela who has over 11 years experience in the industry, having worked across a wide range of productions from factual documentaries to feature length films, including the award winning thriller Eliminate: Archie Cookson. All of these top names have come together with a top class cast that all bring there A-game to the table and add so much more than just the “punchy-kicky” stuff, which – to be fair – is also insanely good. The hand to hand fighting and the stylish way it’s shot is all your favourite stuff from The Raid with a touch of Bourne finesse!

You know what I’m done, I could tell you more about why you should see Redcon-1 but I will leave it at this. This is the most involved, interested and definitely the most entertained I have been in a zombie movie for a long time.

**** 4 [Parkour Fighting Zombies out of] 5

Redcon-1 is distributed in the UK by 101 Films and Intense Distribution. The film is due for Blu Ray and DVD release in early 2019.

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