DIRECTOR Glenn Ciano WRITER Glenn Ciano; Rob Rotondo STARS Michael Madsen; William Forsythe; Christy Carlson Romano DVD 10 June
Initially amusing due to a self-conscious, rather deliberate campiness, Infection Z rapidly dulls. Unfortunate, as what eventually amounts to an experiment by director-writer Glenn Ciano to try his hand at a hotchpotch of storytelling techniques holds potential for quirkiness, if not for a second act that drags its feet to fill feature-length run-time. A gauntlet that runs from hammy to survivalist minimalism through straight zombie romp therefore loses a possible breakneck momentum for the taking.
There is also the basis for a serious film here. Our zombie equivalents flit in and out of their mental and physical state, the transition of which they are aware. This, alongside a parallel of father and son dynamics complemented by a sliver of subplot featuring a sick father and his little girl, provide ample opportunity for an absorbing, psychological story, however the script is nothing near smart enough to exploit this. Rather, Infection Z flounders between drafts, as confused as its one-dimensional characters — although, in fairness, William Forsythe is entertaining as he determinedly hams his part, flanked by a Michael Madsen who does his best (but not enough) to add drama.
A haphazard edit that is at times jarring does nothing to help matters, particularly when making no attempt to soften the differentiation between changes of camera and, indeed, style. In more experienced hands the latter approach could complement the aforementioned genre-hopping, however here it simply smacks of error, low budget or no. All in, an amateurish attempt.