Corpses Are Forever (2003) 1 brainhalf brain

I knew this was a budget film when I rented it, so I was pleasantly surprised when I was taken in by the first few minutes. A man wakes up with no memory of what has happened to him, but he has various serious wounds. As he examines himself, we hear from his voiceover that he's been shot, had his throat cut (not completely, but still), and had his leg mangled, but he feels no pain. I was starting to think that this was some cool experimental movie where we get to see things from the point of view of a zombie who doesn't realize it, but after this decent opener and some following scenes, the movie derails.

It wasn't for lack of ideas or a plot; those were actually interesting as well, in general. The man we see at first is Quint Barrow (José Prendes), but it isn't actually him. We're seeing his memories being relived by secret agent Malcolm Grant (also Prendes), who can do this through some magical DNA memory transfer developed by the military. The real Barrow is dead, and was also apparently the first zombie in an epidemic that is currently sweeping the nation. Grant is trying to figure out the cause of the epidemic so he and the military unit he's with can figure out how to fight it.

Still sounds good, right? Well, yes, in theory. The first hint that I might be in for a bad time was a ridiculous fight scene in which Malcolm Grant is trapped in a warehouse with tons of zombies. He walks around throwing punches and kicks, and zombies crumple to the ground, except that these punches and kicks aren't actually connecting to anything. Over and over you see Grant smite the air, and a zombie five feet away staggers and falls. This on top of the fact that if you slug zombies, it only knocks them over temporarily; it doesn't knock them out.

Add on top of this some atrocious acting. Brinke Stevens, Linnea Quigley, and Richard Lynch turn in game performances, but Prendes is only passable, and the rest of the cast made me wince. Admittedly, the dialog wasn't tremendous. Grant is supposed to be a James Bond-ish type character (hence the title), so some corny lines might be expected, but Prendes doesn't have the presence to carry them off.

Overall this was a good idea that failed. If you can stomach bad budget films or are a fan of Stevens or Quigley, you might want to try it out, but otherwise you are likely wasting your time.