THE SHADOW WALKERS ** USA 2006 Dir: Mark Steven Grove. 91 mins
In an underground bunker a military operation is underway. Using genetic modification a group of scientists have been trying to create the ultimate warrior. Unfortunately for them it has not been going all that well. These experiments have been going on for 2 years and the only thing they have to show for it is a bunker full of incredibly strong, blood thirsty mutant monsters. Physically they are everything the military want but they are, as yet, unable to control them. Either really bored or just plain angry at the situation General Radler drugs some of his personnel and the lab technicians to the point of them loosing their memories and locks them in the bunker with the creatures. It’s kill or be killed for the team who have to learn to work together and find a way to defeat the monsters and find their way out if they can. These monsters are quite fearsome looking with huge talons and distorted faces with very large teeth. They are like a cross between vampires and zombies, they look like vampires but whoever they bite will also very soon turn into one of them. Apart from these creatures and a great soundtrack featuring bands Marillion and Corruption this doesn’t have an awful lot else going for it. Okay it is fast paced with loads of action but the underground setting and almost non existent quality lighting leaves it all so gloomy you really can’t see what is going on which is a real shame. Despite some unfavourable opinions on the look of the monsters and subsequent FX I have to disagree. They put a lot of effort into the prosthetics on the creatures and they have kept the majority of the FX practical where possible. I agree they don’t always look that great but you can tell that they’ve really tried. The acting is not anything to speak of and the dialogue adds nothing to any character build up. It’s full of cheesy one liners from both male and female characters. One woman says after successfully garroting an assailant “now he’s well hung” which just made me cringe inside. All the female characters act and look the same so I couldn’t really tell them apart. Slightly easier with the male characters though, the one with the crew cut is the hero and the bad guy is the one with the goatee… original!! It’s all very predictable but it doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It holds your interest, really tries to be fun and in the end was actually pretty enjoyable.
Review by Sarah Budd