It's not all that shocking to come across a b-grade zombie-fest with a title like "Flight of the Living Dead." What surprises me is that it took this long for someone to produce the thing! Sort of a cross between Snakes on a Plane and the Dawn of the Dead remake, Scott Thomas' Flight of the Living Dead (which hits DVD with the pointless subtitle Outbreak on a Plane) is quite a bit of good, goofy fun. Granted, the flick takes a little while before it picks up any speed, but the cast is a colorful enough lot, plus once the airborne zombie attacks start splattering on to the screen, you'll find just enough carnage to keep you entertained.
I know what you're thinking: "How the hell do a bunch of zombies make their way onto an airborne jetliner?" And that'd be a pretty good question. But here's how: It's a cryogenically-frozen zombie that breaks loose thanks to some power failures, and once it starts chowing down, well, you know the drill. Let's just say it doesn't take long before the zombies outnumber the screeching passengers. And then it's up to a collection of plucky survivors to thwart the zombies, land the plane, and prevent the infection from becoming an outbreak. Just take all the snakes out of Snakes on a Plane and replace them with ravenous zombies.
Clearly this isn't Shakespeare we're talking about. But there's always something to be said for comic-book-style monster movies that deliver the gore and the giggles in equal measure. As if in apology for the slow-ish start, Flight kicks in at the mid-way point and just doesn't slow down. The splat-stuff works a bit better than the lighter material, but at least the screenwriters seem to be well-aware of the pulpy genre stew that they're slingin'. Plus the B-movie maniacs will have a ball picking through all the familiar faces: Richard Tyson, Erick Avari, Kevin J. O'Connor, and Dale Midkiff anchor the broadly amusing ensemble.
Riding high off a pair of well-received Fantastic Fest screenings, Flight of the Living Dead hits DVD this week in a pretty solid package. The film is presented in a very fine widescreen format, with audio delivered in Dolby Digital 5.1, 2.0, or DTS 6.1. (Optional subtitles are included in English and Spanish.) Extras-wise, we have a pair of audio commentaries -- one with director Scott Thomas and producer David Shoshan and the other with IGN Movies maniacs Steven Horn, Eric Moro, and Chris Monfette -- and a gag reel. That's pretty much it, but the chat-tracks are both rather solid. The former is a bit drier and fact-based, while the latter is really fun stuff. Let's get more informed-fan-tracks on these horror DVDs!