Thursday, February 17, 2011
LA HORDE (THE HORDE) (2009)
Directed by Benjamin Rocher and Yannick Dahan
Claude Perron - Aurore
Jean-Pierre Martins - Ouessem
Eriq Ebouaney - Adewale Markudi
Joining forces to survive, crooked cops and gangsters must reach ground level of a apartment complex together or perish from a zombie outbreak.
I first heard about La Horde when it was announced it was being made back in 2008 and saw a production shot of the filming of it. It looked dirty, and rundown. Decrepit even. I'm going to be posting a shot close to the one I saw later on. But that shot sold me on the movie with only knowing it was about zombies and gangsters. Since then other zombie movies have came out, but all were outclassed by the AMC series The Walking Dead, which focused on the emotional toll the outbreak of zombies has on survivors instead of the blood, guts and death. La Horde though, is an old school zombie movie with French sensibilities.
Now when I say French sensibilities, imagine if Luc Besson and Pierre Morel made a zombie movie love child. That movie would be La Horde. The action scenes in this movie are frantic, kinetic, and rarely slows down and when they do it doesn't stay that way for very long. The old 80's action movie 100 rounds in a 12 round clip is in full effect and you just go with it as you're having to much fun watching the carnage unfold before you. Even though this is a low budget movie, it doesn't act, nor does it feel that way in the slightest as most of the movie is shot in confined spaces which make the action seem bigger and more viscous as the movie plays by it's own rules and doesn't truly follow anyone else's.
Now as for plot and character development, this movie doesn't concern itself to much with that as this is a what you see is what you get movie. It's style over substance, and I could have cared less about the baby Claude Perron's Aurore was carrying in her tummy or the other unsolved plot threads. Just watching Perron's Aurore doing a beat down on a zombie lady in a kitchen and then ending it with her pushing over a old style refrigerator on top of said zombie, what is there not to love. Even though this is the first full length feature film from both Benjamin Rocher and Yannick Dahan, I couldn't tell as the movie was so well shot. I mentioned as the movie doesn't overly concern itself with plot that much, as a good example of this is the very first zombie that is killed had to go through being shot at least 30 times before the top part of it's head was taken off, you would think that after seeing this the characters would catch on how how to kill the zombies, yet they still decide to unload 30 rounds per zombie in their bodies and not in the brain area. Like I said character development isn't really there.
While the movie isn't a horror movie per say, it is a pure action movie through and through and probably the best one I've seen since 2008's Rambo. One thing that was different with this though is that the people you feel sorry for at the start isn't the one's you feel sorry at the end, as Eriq Ebouaney's Adewale Markudi is about the only one who actually undergoes a change in the film when he understands a mob rule is starting to take effect and he despises it. To break the intensity of the action, dark humor is spread throughout as to lighten the oppressive mood. While the film has flaws, mostly dealing with CG effects, as usual, and a thin story, it's easy to overlook as most of those aren't stayed on for to long. So if you're looking for a bloody, action filled time with a horror twist this is the movie to watch as the movie doesn't try to be anything but what it is.
As for the shot that made me want to see this, it's below.
The first thug to get munched on. Just the viciousness of it sets it apart.
Religion is just deaden insurance.
Jean-Pierre Martins is the singer of the rock band Silmarils.
La Horde premiered in 2009 at the London FrightFest Film Festival.
La horde won two Garner awards for the Best Screenplay and Best Special Effects or Cinematography at Fantasporto Film Festival.