Zombie Bloodbath 3: Zombie Armageddon (2000) 1 brain

Todd Sheets has returned to form in his third installment of the Zombie Bloodbath series, meaning that like the first film, this one has plenty of flaws, but you can still appreciate what he's trying to do, as opposed to Zombie Bloodbath 2: Rage of the Undead, which just grated on my nerves. That's not to say that I recommend this film, unless you're a hard-core budget fan, but if you do want to watch it anyway, you may be able to find some things to like about it.

This movie is set in a high school that somehow ended up with a secret government lab beneath it that contains a spaceship from the future with frozen zombies inside. Or at least, I think the zombies were inside. I only ever saw one zombie in the actual ship, and the rest just seemed to appear. They might have explained more about where they came from at some point, but by that point I was barely paying attention.

The movie does have a couple of interesting twists, one of which is that a large part of the cast is modeled after the characters in The Breakfast Club, down to the red-headed popular girl. These characters are in detention when the principal locks the doors to keep them from sneaking out, just in time for the zombies to appear. The zombies are let loose by a pair of high-school radio jocks who are unable to converse without every other word being a profanity. An action star and his retinue who just happen to be hanging out in the school (again, don't ask me why) complete the cast.

One good thing Sheets has done is to cut down on the protracted death scenes, where we have to watch each character slowly get pulled apart. On the other hand, these scenes have been traded for mostly tedious dialog, and we don't see zombies appear until well into the film. Sheets has also kept to the tradition of making the sequel less drama- and more action-oriented than the original. There's a scene that stuck in my head from the first film of a woman killing her kids to keep them from becoming zombies, representative of a gritty, dark feel that the third film is lacking (and of course, when I say "dark", I mean dark for a zombie film). This film seems like it's more just for fun. How can it not be, when you have such a huge nod to a John Hughes film?

You have to give Sheets credit for staying power, and continuing to do what he loves. If you already know and like his stuff, there's no reason not to watch this film as well, since I think by the time this film was made he knew his target audience pretty well. If you're not familiar with his work, there are better choices to sink your teeth into.