Director/Writer: Doug Roos
Cast: Carey MacLaren, Laurel Kemper.
Lance (Carey MacLaren) is the samurai sword wielding hero seeking to find and destroy the hooded Leader of a zombie cult that are seeking to kill survivors of the plague and add them to their growing numbers of the walking dead. Finding Rachel (Laurel Kemper), another survivor, the two grow closer, aware that time is against them.
Doug Roos’ The Sky Has Fallen, made in 2009 and just seeing the light of day now, is clearly made on a very low budget with highly inexperienced actors. It is at times a quite static two hander that can be dialogue heavy and repetitive in its staging of the action sequences. The whole film is primarily shot in one woodland location and again it shows. The talk also slows the narrative. Six years on from its production, the concept of a samurai sword carrying, zombie-fighting hero has been usurped (by Michonne from The Walking Dead), a fact that won’t be lost on an audience. The way it’s shot will also bring comparisons with AMC’s ongoing zombie soap opera. Such are the perils of micro budget filmmaking when it takes a while to get your product out there and the bigger budget outfits race past in their more expensive wheels.
Negatives out of the way, there’s also a lot to like about The Sky Has Fallen. The cast work hard with what they have; it is nicely shot; it’s gory without reverting to CGI, and uses only effective practical FX. Most of all Roos goes for a different variant of zombie. No slow mover Romero biters, or fast running 28 Days Later versions, here the leaders are hooded, as though part of a weird death cult, their fingers long to rip out your insides. There’s a sense of the satanic about them, never seeing their faces (the walking dead victims you do and the make up is well done). The action scenes are also kept simple enough that they are engaging. The Sky Has Fallen has enough ideas to make it worth a watch. Hopefully director Roos gets another outing with a bigger budget.
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David Paul Hellings
Images from the author & IMDb