Plan Z (2016)

You have probably noticed from my horror-centric reviews that I have a lot of love for the genre. I will watch any scary movie I can get my eager hands on. No matter what I say, I really like zombies as well, and I think they make a good villains for the most part. I don’t think I am the only one that enjoys a good zombie story, hence why they have become such an iconic staple of horror, and pop-culture. That being said, the Z-genre in its current form is played out. The zombie stories of today are so tired and re-hashed that even those who don’t watch horror films or TV, can find the easy cliches. “Plan Z” is no exception to this. It stands as a “No Budget” zombie film that at best feels unfinished and at worst an unfunny episode of “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace”

With a minuscule budget, I can see wanting to make a slower paced zombie film. One that works on the fear, and horror aspects of seeing the dead rise, and your friends, and family being devoured by…well each other. Trying to show some thought provoking moments amongst the eating of brains isn’t a bad concept to strive for in your film. “Plan Z” wants to be that way, and yet starts as a lot of Zombie films do. We watch as undead try to break in and eat their fill of two people, as they struggle to keep them out. Of course, this first scene is ruined by a few awful lines of narration, read by a completely unimpressed voice. This narration moves on past the zombie scene and decides to tell us the poorly written life story of our main character. Our hero is just like us. He is single, and a photographer. He travels to cool places, meets cool people, and apparently spends most of his free time planning for the zombie apocalypse. Hence the name Plan Z. That is the main plot line of this film. A man has made a plan to deal with the zombie apocalypse. So, with a plot the size of a religious pamphlet we move instantly into the first main story issue. The plan itself. You see, our hero has a plan, he has been ready for the Z-infested end times for years. He will stick to his plan, and survive! Below I will detail said amazing plan for your perusal.

Hero’s Plan to Survive Zombie Apocalypse!

Step 1 – Have a place to stay. This is a must. You need a place to stay. Without a place to stay, where will you stay?

Step 2 – Have supplies. Again, this is essential. Supplies are needed to stay supplied. Bottled water for drinking, canned goods for eating, light reading material for entertainment on the toilet, toilet paper for use after, pizza pockets to send you to the toilet, and liquor, in case friends drop by and you need to entertain. Only the essentials!

Step 3 – Wait out the Zombies and move into the country. A most important part of the plan, which admittedly cancels out step one after a few days, but yet can also count as a redo of said step. So I guess the plan just kind of goes into rinse and repeat mode until your run out of country homes to live in.

So there you go. That’s it. Plan Z in all its glory. A plan that our spent hero countless hours of his free time to make. I am not sure anyone else could have made a plan so intelligent and foolproof as this. I can really see why he needed to spend all his waking hours figuring this plan out. The best part is, the plan is adaptable, as we will learn later in the film.

Around the 3/4 mark of the film, you start to get the impression that this movie may be unfinished or that they might have left 30 minutes of footage on the cutting room floor. It starts when our hero and his friend are getting gas to help them implement step 3, and they meet an angry man from Ireland. After a bit of light arguing, they quickly become fast friends and decide to carpool. Then the scene flips and suddenly we have jumped an unstated amount of time into the future, and our hero squad is now in a room being attacked by zombies. There also seems to be two new female members of the group. Characters who are apparently important enough to include, yet not important enough to be introduced. Although lucky us, we do get flashbacks for them later in the film. These backstory flashbacks make little or no sense in one case and have no impact on the movie in the others. This is actual time that could have been spent telling us who these girls are. All we learned is the one girl is the sister of the man from Ireland, and the other new girl likes to be naked at public pools and considers herself a lady…

Finally, our intrepid group of survivors finish step 3 and are now safely hidden away in the country. They shower and enjoy a glass of wine while discussing the soon to be added Step 4. A step so ridiculously amazing that it needs to be added at the end of the film for maximum impact. Are you ready?

Step 4 – Eradicate every zombie in the world one-by-one, all the while building a barrier around the newly cleared safe areas as we go.

Wait….What? Their actual plan is to walk a mile a day killing every single zombie in that mile. Then when finished they are going to erect a fence in the new zombie-free area. I mean….I don’t know what to say. That has to be the stupidest plan ever conceived in a Z-genre film. Four inept people armed with a single tire iron, and a rock are going to kill every zombie by hand, and then build a fence that surrounds one square mile a day until they have made a safe zone in the whole UK, and maybe the world? As you have already figured out, there are a lot of things that make this plan terrible. Still, did they honestly think this was a good piece of writing. The characters of “Plan Z” spent the whole movie being scared of the scant few zombies the low budget could afford. They shake in terror at the mere sight of a single slow moving member of the living dead. The whole movie is about them driving in fear, as fast as they can away from the zombies. Ten minutes in the country and it’s “Alright! Enough of that, let’s go back and slaughter them all!”

“Plan Z” really seems like it ran out of steam during the writing process. They may have had some big ideas, but the low budget left them with no way to implement them. There is also the chance that this movie is just extremely badly written, and edited, and just trying to capitalize on the large popularity of the Zombie genre. Whatever the reason, you can happily skip this one, and be better for it.

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