Studio: One 7 Movies
Original Release Date: June 24, 2015 (Italy)
DVD Release: February 9, 2016
Director(s): Luca Alessandro, Allegra Bernardoni, Domiziano Cristopharo, Federico Greco
Review by Vidal Granandos
E.N.D. is an Italian horror film that has it’s own unique take on the zombie genre. As interesting as the concept is, the story and tone don’t blend together well enough to make it enjoyable leaving you brain dead from watching.
E.N.D. story’s takes place on three specific days over several years during the zombie apocalypse. The movie begins with a short scene where a man is going to get intimate with a female in a restroom. Before they have sex, the woman takes a bump of cocaine. The cocaine somehow turns her into a zombie and she kills the man by biting into his neck.
The actual day one of the apocalypse takes place at a funeral home. We see Giorgio (Franceso Sannicandro) the caretaker of the bodies, waking up after partying at the morgue with two friends the night before. He quickly rushes to clean up the place before he meets the director/owner Massimo (Antonio Bilo Canella). Massimo has a meeting with a father named Mr. Ricchi (Marco Di Stefano) about the preparations for his recently deceased son. While promising the grieving Mr. Ricchi that he will honor his son’s wishes, Massimo gets an important call. It turns out that Massimo actually delivers cocaine through the caskets. As Massimo, Giorgio and Mr. Ricchi walk through the hallways of the funeral home, a woman runs in terrified for her life. Holding her pepper spray, she tells the others about what’s going on outside. At the same time a voice over the radio explains that a virus is spreading through bad cocaine. Shortly afterwards one of Giorgio’s friends begins to turn into a zombie.
First off, I actually like the idea of having people turn into zombies from some bad cocaine. It hasn’t been done before and coke rots people’s brains that they pretty much become walking corpses in real life. E.N.D. only goes so deep as to say the cocaine has a virus that turns people into zombies and people who get bit by these people can also turn into zombies.
Through news articles and voiceover we learned that America gets involved in “helping” Europe with its epidemic because America likes getting involved with everything. So they sent troops over to exterminate towns. Unfortunately the soldiers are taken over by hordes of zombies.
Fast forward to Day 1466, we see an American soldier trying to drive a pregnant woman and her mother through the woods to a safe place. Not paying attention, the man runs over a zombie causing his car to stall. As more and more corpses start to head to their car, the trio run to find a safe place. The mother gets caught and is strangled to death. The soldier and pregnant woman find a cabin yet they are still being followed. What is worse is the soldiers pistol is out of ammo and the woman’s water breaks. Guess what she gives birth to? A zombie baby! Knowing he can’t fight off all the zombies and tired of dealing with this shit, the soldier grabs a knife and stabs himself in the head.
There was no dialogue in this sequence so you can really take in the atmosphere and sense of just how scared these people are for their lives. The makeup for all the zombies is well done. However there are computer-generated images that I could’ve done without. It looks very cheap and the makeup is good enough that I felt the CGI wasn’t needed at all. What I can’t understand was how the hell did the lady give birth to a zombie baby? Did she have sex with a zombie? Did she do coke while pregnant? Did the baby do cocaine? The other funny thing is the soldier kills himself by jamming the knife through his eye to pierce his brain. That has to be the dumbest, most painful way he could’ve taken his life. Might as well let the zombies eat you if you’re going to kill yourself in such a brutal way.
The first two stories are pretty tame and are what you see from most zombie films. But by the third act, E.N.D. takes are sharp right turn. By day 2333, there are two factions: a human resistance that are fighting the walking dead while experimenting to cure them, and a zombie faction that are trying to start their own colony. That’s right the zombies have evolved to the point where they can speak to each other through grunts, can use military weapons and are happy with being walking dead creatures. Who is leading the zombie faction you may ask? Mr. Ricchi’s dead son! We later learn that zombies can no longer die by headshots. They can only die by shooting them in the anus. Sigh…why can’t foreign films be “normal”? Giorgio and his new zombie family take over a laboratory only to have a final showdown with a human faction. Who’s leading this factor? Why none other than funeral owner Massimo! He must’ve felt guilty for selling all that bunk cocaine that turn people in lifeless monsters causing the end of the world, as we know it. Massimo has a sword fight with the zombie ringleader. After he kills him for good, Massimo finds Giorgio. Giorgio doesn’t want to be a zombie anymore and joins Massimo’s group so he can be cured. That is the end of E.N.D.
The last part of the film was very random. I liked that the people from the beginning came back to try to wrap up the story but it still made no sense. How did Mr. Ricchi’s son turn into a zombie if he died before the cocaine epidemic? Why didn’t smashing the zombies’ brain kill them but shooting them directly in the anus did? I understand they probably had to reuse the actors because it was probably a very small cast but then write a better story involving the characters. The second act didn’t use anybody from before so then why force a resolution at the end if you weren’t building towards that in the first place? And this film wasn’t a comedy! It was trying to be a serious horror film. I honestly believe this film would’ve worked much better as a comedy. It had some solid ingredients too: virus causing cocaine, zombie baby, action pack sword fight, and anus death shots.
* Interview w/ screenwriter Antonio Tentori
* 2 Trailer Spots
* Photo Gallery
* Backstage/Behind the scenes.
The interview with Antonio Tentori is nice and short. He explains that out of all the figures found in the horror genre, zombies are his favorite. Before E.N.D., Antonio was able to work on two other zombie films “Island of the Walking Dead” and “Zombie: The Beginning.” He believes the versatility on the different characteristics a zombie can take lends well to any story. They can be slow, brain dead monsters. Or fast, intelligent creatures with super strength. Though he believes the slow walking classic zombie is far more frightening, Tentori decided to add a modern twist to make the episodic film stand out.
I couldn’t wait for the end of E.N.D. As interesting as the film started out, it lost steam very fast. There wasn’t much of a story and it wasn’t coherent enough to be enjoyable. The second act was good because it had nothing to do with the first act; it was it’s own story. Yet the third act brought back the characters from the first act in a convoluted human versus zombie gang warfare that wasn’t as epic as one would hope. Though the first half of the film was okay, there simply isn’t enough here to make anyone want to sit through this film or come back from the dead to watch it again.