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Zombies In Africa Feature Film ("The Dead") Heading To DVD/Blu-Ray 2/14 + New Release Trailer

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 18, 2012 4:31 PM
5 Comments
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Been awhile since we wrote about this flick; I just learned (via Quiet Earth) that it's heading for home video - DVD/Blu-ray - on February 14th, just under a month away.

This is good actually because I'll finally get to see it for myself, after almost 2 years of back-and-forth on it on S&A. Almost every time I've written about it, expressing my concerns over its plot, my words are met with replies from fans of the film, or from the production team's camp, defending the film, and urging me to see it before judging it.

Well, it looks like I'll have the opportunity to do so, AND THEN I can judge it, after seeing it :) 

It actually received a limited theatrical run in the USA last fall, but, for some reason, BoxOfficeMojo.com is down right now, so I can't access box office numbers.

We first alerted you all to The Dead, in April 2010; at the time, its future was uncertain.

A month or so later, it screened at the Cannes Film Market to strong positive audience responses, and managed its way to some distribution opportunities - opportunities that are finally now being realized.

As I said in my initial post… if District 9 was the “Aliens In Africa” project, then we could maybe call The Dead the “Zombies In Africa” project.

Co-directed by brothers Howard J. Ford and Jonathan Ford (Americans), the film was shot entirely on location in mostly Burkina Faso and Ghana, in West Africa, and is described as “a powerful story of one man’s struggle to survive in extreme circumstances all the while battling against a menacing threat all around him!

An American mercenary, the sole survivor of a plane crash, has to run the gauntlet across Africa, battling the living dead, joining forces with a local military man, who is desperately searching for his son amongst the chaos, as they fight together to survive.

Naturally, the American mercenary is Caucasian, not-so unlike the hero in District 9, amidst a sea of zombies, seemingly made up entirely of black Africans. It's not an allegorical tale, but some layered analysis of just the concept alone could be a dissertation.

As I've said previously, repeatedly, while I’ll certainly welcome, and even embrace a zombie film made in any part of Africa, starring Africans, this particular set up makes me a little uncomfortable, if past films about Africans in Africa, with white lead protagonists, produced by non-Africans (read whites) are any indication of what to expect.

However, once again, as already noted, I haven't seen the film, so I’ll reserve my full critique for when I actually do see it, when it's released on DVD & Blu-ray (and hopefully VOD) on February 14th. You can preoder it right now.

There may be more to it than I'm giving it credit for.

A brand new release trailer has surfaced and is embedded below:

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5 Comments

  • Simon Ryan | January 22, 2012 3:00 PMReply

    I have actually seen this movie and in fact the white guy is a weak character and he can't save jack S^^^ even by his own admission early on in the film! and the ''war between us is normal... errr actually it is ''the war between us is no more'' its probably because of his african accent that you misheard it.. which kind of makes the rest of the rhetoric posted after this comment redundant. For me it was a good looking zombie movie shot in a nice location... but then again some people lead boring and paranoid lives so they are always on the defensive or looking to knock people down... sad really!

  • blah, blah | January 19, 2012 9:44 PMReply

    I've actually seen this and it is just another white man saves the natives type of flick. Which is sad because I really wanted to like it.

  • David Donaghe | January 19, 2012 8:54 AMReply

    It sounds like a great film. I can't wait to see it.

    http://dhdonaghe.blogspot.com/

  • CKHerm2 | January 18, 2012 5:23 PMReply

    "The war between us is normal. There is a new one; prepare to fight it together."
    Umm, nah it's not normal. It's the product of a lot of geo-political processes that exacerbate pre-existing conflicts while creating new ones. So yeah, let's not conflate human conflict with the Zombie War. The two are not the same.

    I share the author's concern about the underlying analysis. Like, why couldn't the protagonist be a person of African descent? Infusing a white character as the center of the plot will undoubtedly raise eyebrows among some viewers. Not saying he shouldn't be in it but damn, is it necessary to make him the center of attention? Feels like Avatar redux though.

    And why couldn't this be a slice of the larger zombie narrative in the vein of Max Brooks' World War Z? That book does an excellent job of rotating the perspective to the point where the main character becomes the Zombie apocalpyse (If you like zombies and haven't read it, go pick it up. I'm sure you'll enjoy it).

    Analytical problems acknowledged, I look forward to seeing the film. Hopefully I'm wrong about the Avatar comparison. But I don't think I will be.

  • Cyril | January 18, 2012 5:06 PMReply

    Hmmmm, I don't know about this one. While the cinematography and everything else could get a 10/10 in my book, I can already tell this one will leave a bitter taste in my mouth. A bitterness I am already too familiar with.

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