The Quick and the Undead – Horror Film Review

As the title suggests, this is a combination of George A. Romero and Sergio Leone – a point emphasized by the opening scenes, which cleverly juxtapose a nice main title sequence that fills in the back story (a la LAND OF THE DEAD) and a long-shot of a lone zombie felled by an unseen bounty hunter’s rifle (a la FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE). Set in a low-budget, post-apocalyptic future, the premise is that a viral outbreak has turned three-quarters of the population inzo the walking dead, and the Western United States is now a deserted no-man’s land overrun by zombies. In this “New West,” bounty hunters earn bucks by gunning down zombies, hopefully clearing the way for civilization to return one day. Our anti-hero loner Baskin (Clint Glenn) makes a nice living this way until his bounty is hijacked and he is left for dead by a group of outlaws. He teams up with a duplicitous sidekick (think Eli Wallach in THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY) and tracks down the outlaws, led by a steely-eyed psychopath (who seems vaguely modeled after Lee Van Cleef).

The combination of two kinds of cliches yields a certain amount of cult entertainment for fans of either genre, and actor Clint Glenn not only looks remarkably like a young Clint Eastwood while squinting his eyes in close-up; he also captures some of the essential characterization. However, the idea for this film is a bit more amusing than the execution. Once the premise has been established, the script offers only a simple storyline to give the characters something to do. Which might be tolerable if the film delivered in stylistic terms; unfortunately, hampered by a low-budget, THE QUICK AND THE UNDEAD captures neither the widescreen spectacle of Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns, nor the montage-driven horror of Romero’s zombie opera.

Still, you have to give the film credit for its amusing conceit of setting a zombie film in a future world that resembles the Old West. It really is cool to see a lone, cigar-smoking gunslinger riding a tricked-out motorcycle – the perfect modern equivalent of a horse – while taking out zombies with the methodical precision of the Man with No Name.

THE QUICK AND THE UNDEAD(2006). Written and directed by Gerald Nott. Cast: Clint Glenn, Toar Campbell, Dion Day, Nicol Giacobbe, Brian Koehler, Erin McCarthy, Paul Molnar, Parrish Randall.

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.