A Zombie Invasion (2012) 1 brain1 brainhalf brain

As the first zombie movie I've watched in over two years, A Zombie Invasion was a fun enough diversion, but I wish it had hung together a little better. Since it's typical in zombie movies for most of the cast to die, it's good to know early on who the main characters are so you can focus on worrying about them. The rest of the cast is there to get eaten. In director Matt Green's effort the cast is large, with several characters being introduced with just enough depth that I wasn't sure who exactly I should be invested in. On the one hand, having that many characters with at least some personality is interesting, but on the other hand it's disconcerting when someone I think might be the main character dies partway through the movie.

In A Zombie Invasion, the residents of a small town are invaded by the walking dead, which turn out to be corpses animated by aliens who have implanted slug-like creatures in their brains. The core of the action is centered in the local diner, where the owner, waitresses, and customers are holed up after the diner is surrounded. In the meantime, the local sheriff (Robert Pralgo) and his war buddy Chuck (Fadi Malouf) are coming back from their interrupted fishing trip to try to figure out what's going on after they hear reports of strange things going on at home.

Writer Brendan Vogel keeps things flowing and has some nice surprises, but sometimes the reactions of his characters seem a little off. The characters take the existence of zombies pretty much in stride. Even if the characters inhabit a world where zombie stories exist, I would expect more of a reaction when they find out that the stories are actually true. But for the most part I thought the characters rang true.

Overall this was a pretty solid effort, and a good way to kick off my return to reviewing.