Tall, Dark, and Dead – 54 – Severed: Forest of the Dead
Title: Severed: Forest of the Dead
Director: Carl Bessai
Leads: Paul Campbell, Sarah Lind
Favorite quote: “They don’t go after each other – that much we know.”
Thoughts: Severed starts off by profiling several different communities of people – environmental protesters, loggers, and scientists. All going about their lives, little knowing that they will soon be feasting off of one another, their stories intersecting horribly.
At this point I was all, “Goody-goody, my own personal blend of peanut butter and chocolate and marshmallow!”
Aaaand then it went nowhere.
The most disappointing thing about this movie was that it was the perfect vehicle with which to explore a minor, but recurring theme in zombiedom – the idea of the zombie as an earth elemental. You can see hints of this theme whenever zombies are associated with dirt, mossy decay, plants, and even stone – whenever zombies take on qualities of the legendary golem. I think this idea is embodied most strongly in the character of She from Cemetery Man, but I’m also thinking of the infamous tree rape scene in The Evil Dead, along with a host of other examples.
Severed didn’t go anywhere near that. Instead, we got yet another poor man’s T-virus – something engineered to make trees grow exponentially. This movie has the first example of tree/plant infection that I’ve ever seen, in the form of a blood-like, red sap that instantly turns those it infuses into shambling undead. Ultimately, the movie turned into your typical survivor story, with some sort of weird religious twist.
Plus, I once watched an eight hour marathon of Swamp Thing, and I was all pumped up, thinking I’d finally be able to put that information to use – bah! (Don’t ask. It was an awful, if formative experience. And I could probably do some convoluted English-majoring and argue that Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing is actually a zombie, but…anyway.)