The title may crib from Night of the Living Dead, but this flick’s REAL inspiration is obvious: Snakes on a Plane. Basically it’s Zombies on a Plane, without the benefit of Samuel L. Jackson.
All the disaster movie clichés and characters are here: there’s a nun, the annoying couple on vacation, the prisoner being transferred by a square jawed cop, the horny stewardesses, the pilot on his last flight before retiring, a black athlete (the novelty here is that he’s a Tiger Woods clone), the sweaty scientists, the Mile High Clubbers, the eccentric passenger who’s the only person that can fly the plane after all the pilots have been eaten, and of course, the supply of dangerous biohazard materials sitting in the cargo hold. Of course one person turns into a zombie, bites another and another, until the plane is overrun by flesh eating ghouls and the few survivors have to fight them off and figure out how to land the plane.
Despite the novel setting, nothing else is really done with the concept and Flight of the Living Dead offers very few surprises. The film reeks of missed opportunities (There’s no annoying salesman from
The zombies in the film are fast moving, screeching, wild eyed 28 Days Later clones and aren’t particularly interesting, scary, or cool. The kills are a mixed bag to say the least as the film relies heavily on the standard issue neck biting, but we do get to see a few severed legs and decapitated heads. There is one neat scene where a zombie gets sucked into the engine and an excellent umbrella through the mouth death that’s almost worth the price of admission. The film also contains a first in a zombie movie: a toothless granny zombie, so I guess that’s something.
The cast doesn’t feature a lot of big names, but is sprinkled throughout with a lot of familiar faces such as Erick (Daredevil) Alvari, Raymond (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) Barry, Dale (Pet Sematary) Midkiff and Brian (Cobra) Thompson; none of whom are particularly given a whole lot to do. The only cast member who really gets to shine is Kevin J. (Deep Rising) O’Connor as the weasel of a prisoner with a knack for survival.
Flight of the Living Dead doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but there are a lot worse ways to spend 90 minutes. Had the filmmakers been able to milk this concept for all it’s worth, it may have been a minor classic. It’s no Snakes on a Plane, but it’s a mildly amusing, if instantly forgettable addition to the zombie genre.