Taiwan zombie film a nightmare to watch
ZOMBIE 108 (R21)
THIS Taiwanese film is billed as the "first genre movie combining apocalypse and zombie in Chinese film history".
But, for some reasons, the movie scenes feel all too familiar, right from the opening.
Think doomsday bringing traffic to a standstill and a damsel in distress chased by zombies down the aisles of a deserted supermarket.
The damsel is one hot mama Linda (played by Taiwanese model-actress Yvonne Yao), who tries to escape with her young daughter Chloe.
The chaos arises from a deadly virus unleashed upon Taipei, which turns its human population into zombies.
In a flashback to 108 hours before this, the audience is brought to an underground club in Ximending, a district in Taipei with the postal code 108.
The dodgy establishment is helmed by a gangster boss (played by the late Taiwanese comedian Morris Rong) and is filled with his harem of scantily-clad - and gasp! - topless girls.
The unsuspecting gangster and his underlings become entangled with the Swat team sent in to obliterate the zombies.
What ensues is a journey straight out of a video-game sequence - chaotic gunplay and fist fights to fend off the zombie onslaught as survivors go on the run.
Battling the zombies is made a tad more interesting thanks to the gongfu action of skilled Swat team members, played by Taiwanese taekwon-do athlete Chu Mu-yen and Hong Kong actor Dennis To.
It's a pity there wasn't more play given to the duo, especially when To has some impressive martial-arts credentials and has starred as the legendary Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man.
At this point, the audience might wonder, what happened to our protagonist Linda?
Continuing the risque thread of the film, the leggy Linda is in hot water after being saved by a sex maniac (played by director Joe Chien).
The connections between the two parallel storylines are weak and realised only much later in the film - don't expect much character development.
If Chien was looking to make a B-grade horror movie, well, he certainly aced it.
When the lucky survivors finally make it out of the zombie zone, I'm as glad as them that the nightmare is over.
Zombie 108 opens next Thursday.