It’s a little late to the party, but Syfy has jumped on the zombie bandwagon with this road trip with added gore – lots of added gore – courtesy of The Asylum, the people behind Sharknado and all those “not quite” movies with titles that seem awfully familiar.
It wouldn’t be fair to say that this is “not quite” The Walking Dead although it shares that show’s willingness to be brutal when necessary (although the definition of necessary is rather different between the productions). On the basis of this opening episode, though, that’s all there really is to it.
Z Nation takes the most clichéd parts of zombie films and throws them together with some really trite dialogue and the occasional over the top set piece (the hunt for a zombie baby – yes really – is the “highlight”). The zombies (who are called that on occasions, although the episode takes its title from one of the other euphemisms) are there to be hacked up, shot, impaled or otherwise disposed of – there’s no attempt, as in other shows recently about the living dead, to use them as any form of metaphor.
By the end of the episode, a group of disparate characters has come together and are taking on the quest to get the incredibly annoying potential antidote across the continent – and it seems as if they’re going to get assistance from a spy in the sky who’s also going to play appropriate music at them (think Alexei Sayle’s character from the Colin Baker story Revelation of the Daleks but with nowhere near as much personality). It’ll be interesting to see if audiences come back to spend time with them…
Verdict: A shoot-’em-up videogame brought to life that will satisfy those who want to see rampant zombie destruction without anything much getting in the way. 4/10