Tuesday, August 21, 2012

EXIT HUMANITY (2011) review

Exit Humanity (2011) (1st viewing) d. Geddes, John (Canada)

There’s little denying the skilled craftsmanship of writer/director Geddes’ civil war zombie flick – the opening sequence alone, wherein Brian Cox soberly intones the narration of a recently discovered journal, immediately vanquishes any thoughts of just another DIY gutmuncher. With a sepia-drenched color palette and vivid animated montages detailing survivor Mark Gibson’s adventures amongst the walking dead, the film’s subtitle of “A Zombie Saga” bear no trace of hyperbole; this is more thoughtful survivalist drama than thrill ride horror flick.

Yet, even approached with that mindset, it’s hard to defend the excessive 113-minute running time considering that the character-based yarn takes Cox’s laconic phrasings as its internal metronome and is peopled with stock types as opposed to empathetic individuals. Among the several fan faves on hand, Bill Moseley and Dee Wallace turn in subtle, nuanced work as a twisted general and a soothsayer, respectively, but their characters are too hastily sketched to make much of an impression. (By contrast, Stephen McHattie seems to be memorizing lines for another project during his brief mumbling screen time as a field medic.)

The film rests squarely upon the shoulders of capable but limited newcomer Gibson whose frequent cries of anguish are indistinguishable from his frequent cries of anger or frequent cries of attack. An impressive but muted effort, inspiring more admiration at its innovative approach than genuine enthusiasm.


  1. I actually remembered correctly that this wasn't the top of your list. I really liked this film. There was nothing great about it, but I liked the abandon the main character is faced with, as well as being thrown together with unlikely friends. I'm big on buddy films, like most guys, and this one certainly did the number. The animated sequences, while I liked them, certainly threw me out of the period and hurt this film rather than helped it, and I think they could have spent more time developing characters than summarizing events. Look at Isaac, who did a good enough job as a precursor to American rednecks, but could have worked on being more likable, rather than pitiful because he's a pushy jerk that acts like a mildly retarded dog. Just my thoughts.

  2. I admire the film more than actually liking it. It just felt long and aimless to me, and as you say I would have much preferred they had spent more time developing characters. Seriously, you're going to get McHattie for the gig and then not let him do anything? And Gibson, adequate as he might have been, just didn't have enough inherent charisma to elevate the proceedings. I know I lot of people who liked this more than I did.

  3. My number ratings are solely based on how much I enjoyed it and I gave it a solid 7. Stake Land got a 10, I enjoyed it that much. But picking this one apart, I agree that McHattie was severely under-used. I liked Gibson, thought he did decent, being as he's new to this and all, but I think a different lead would have elevated this movie a bit. There is always hope that Nixon will finance a sequel to Stake Land called Stake Land vs. Exit Humanity.