Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane (2007) (USA)
Director Scott Thomas says he thought of this before Snakes on a Plane came out, and that may be true, but comparisons are inevitable nevertheless. Both are obviously meant to be a little (or a lot) silly, but with so much fun action that you forget the implausibility of it all. There has to be a huge suspension of disbelief to even get to the basic scenario. For Snakes on a Plane, you have to believe that this crime lord would choose this method and devise a device that would release the snakes, rather than something more reliable and straightforward. In Flight of the Living Dead, you have to believe that the government would be transporting a top secret project in the cargo hold of a passenger plane. But lets say you get to that point. The flight is airborne, there's no escape, and the danger is released. What happens next?
Here's where the believabilities diverge greatly. In Snakes, it's quite plausible that if you had a bunch of snakes on a plane, it would be easy for them to hide under the seats, in the luggage carriers, etc. Zombies? Not so much. Throughout the movie, as the protagonists move around in the passenger area, the camera will suddenly cut to a zombie that seems to come out of nowhere, except...they're on a plane! There's nowhere for something the size of a zombie to hide! Someone standing at the back of the plane is going to have a clear view of every zombie all the way up to the curtain that separates first class. Zombies don't crouch in hiding. If they know there's food nearby, they'll go for it. The only zombie in the movie that doesn't do that is the one that can't figure out his seat belt, and so remains trapped in his seat. Admittedly, zombies can't move that fast, but it would take them a minute at most, maybe two, to move from the front of the plane to the back. At one point, our heroes spend much longer in the back than that, and yet the zombies are still scattered throughout the seats so they can jump out at the appropriate time. Thomas tries to rectify this somewhat by having a big hole in the floor of the passenger area that leads to the cargo hold, which the zombies can leap out of to grab someone, but it shouldn't be that hard for the heroes to just avoid this hole, especially after they've seen other people get dragged into it.
I know, I know. Why am I applying all this logic to a zombie film when I should just sit back and enjoy the ride? Just fighting zombies isn't enough. Any movie can line the zombies up and have the heroes kill them, but there has to be something more to make it interesting, and if that something more is a really ridiculous, implausible scenario, then it just doesn't cut it for me.
I have to say, though, that I thought the cast did really well with the material they had. The writing was kind of lame, but the acting was pretty good, most notably Kevin J. O'Connor as a captured convict being flown to Paris. The characters get less interesting from there, but are still mostly well-acted, with the exception of maybe some cliched randy teenagers and one or two of the flight attendants.
The effects were also pretty good, with some great death scenes. And despite my comment about how any movie can line the zombies up, it is nice to see thought and care go into the action. So really, when I think about it, the movie was pretty good except for the ridiculous premise. It's just a shame that the cast couldn't have been working with a better script.
So if you can turn your brain off, or if this kind of stuff just doesn't bother you, this could be a good way to kill a couple of hours. But if you're a nitpicker like me, you can probably pass it up.