I think everyone in touch with reality like
me--that is anyone else who listens to a lot of late night,
crackpot AM radio--knows the end of the world is coming, and
it's gonna be fucking brutal. We're going to die gruesome deaths,
and the world will crumble into decay, with mountains of dead
bodies on street corners, flooded houses full of bloating corpses,
shit and piss gurgling up from every orifice of the earth.
The horrid end comes to mind whenever I'm in
the men's room at the Tavern. I also think about what Worm's
shit smells like, but mostly I think about the end. I guess
those ten square feet are my evangelical church, although I'm
not as convinced that I'll be part of the Rapture, or that there's
going to be nearly enough porn in heaven for everyone. I mean,
we're talking about a shitload of people with a long unfulfilled
need for anal dildo action.
28 Weeks Later preys on these thoughts.
Well, not the one about anal dildo action. Hell, if it did it
would have easily scored another finger. As it is, the only
nudity is of a middle-aged mother getting hosed down by the
military. I know there are fetishists into that. What do those
guys call them? MILTHD? It ain't my scene, though. Get her hosed
down by people in plush animal costumes and, again, another
finger. That's not how this movie works.
28 Weeks Later is the sequel to 28
Days Later. In the first movie, England is attacked by a
virus that turns its victims into flesh-eating zombies. Not
slow zombies, but the fast-running, single-minded kind. They
are sort of like sharks, except with arms and legs, and bad
skin, and bloodshot eyes. Oh, and they're on land. So, more
like the Harelip than sharks. Eventually, they take over England,
leaving it more desolate and decayed than it already is. The
current movie picks up where the last left off. A few survivors
hole up in a country cottage not unlike a Thomas Kincaid painting,
except for all the blood and the boarded-up windows. Of course,
the zombies finally make it out of the cities and get around
to eating the hillbillies. That includes a couple who had sent
their kids to America for a visit just before the outbreak.
When the zombies start to chomping, the chicken husband (Robert
Carlyle) ditches his wife and leaves her to be gobbled up.
Now, six months later, England's worst nightmare
has come true: the U.S. has taken the job of cleaning up the
mess and repopulating the country. Nation-building, I believe
it's called. And I hear we are really fucking terrible at it.
Anyway, the child (and England still thinks of us that way)
must now take care of the sick old parent. And we're gonna put
that fucker in the crappiest rest home we can find. A small
zone of the country is deemed okay for living in, and Carlyle
has a prominent role in running it. His children return from
the States and he tells them some bullshit about he tried to
save their mother.
The kids, I guess being kids, immediately ditch
the safe zone to visit their old home and, surprise, surprise,
find their mother. decrepit, filthy and blood-soaked living
in squalor in its attic. Talk about deja vu; that's exactly
how we found my grandmother the summer I turned twelve. Turns
out, she's immune to the virus. She's a carrier, so if she spits
on you, you're fucked. But she doesn't get sick and eat brains.
The US military brings her back into the safe zone and, of course,
she infects someone. From there, it's like a Clairol commercial:
she kisses her estranged husband and he bites two friends, and
they bite two friends, and so on and so on, until the US is
in so deep they just have to try to kill everyone, infected
The themes and big issues that the movie sets
up are pretty much dumped in the toilet at this time. It becomes
an exercise in body counts and blood, formulaic stuff about
a small group trying to defy odds and escape before the military
kills everyone. Thousands are shot, streets are firebombed,
zombies bite shitloads of people, nobody puts a dildo up her
I suppose the gore and zombie shit is done well.
I mean, the film is all grainy and the scenes are made up of
toms of fuzzy jump cuts. They clearly spent a fucking fortune
on blood and locations because the action covers a huge swath
of London. including stadiums, business centers and Underground
The shame is that it's all so damn standard.
There is no zombie attack we haven't seen before. It's action-packed
for sure, but not in any way that really made me do more than
wonder if the dildos would show up.
Maybe someone chickened out on making this a
commentary on military action and overreaction, or on the role
of the US as a nation-builder that burns everything to the ground
so they can start over. They also chickened out on a chance
to point out how easily England would roll over. But, hell,
political commentary isn't my thing. I just think its stupid
to set up a premise and then puss out.
More disappointing is how quickly 28 Weeks
Later drops the family tension among the cowardly father,
his children who learn the truth about him and the mother who
forgives him too easily. Once the story is set up, the father
gets infected and then he just seems to be a bogey, popping
up at convenient times to chase his kids around. The conflict
the kids must feel doesn't deepen or resolve because they're
too damn busy running away.
28 Weeks Later could have been great,
I guess. It started out looking for meaning and depth, to be
different and have impact. In the end, though, it was just a
lot of scrambling around, trying not to die. Sort of like life,
I guess. Three Fingers.