Videogames and movies, two of the biggest forms of media entertainment! One would think that combining these two mediums would result in a positive result; but sadly, that's hardly the case. This metaphorical "crossing of the streams" has left gamers and moviegoers alike with a bad taste in their mouths for generations! True, sometimes a diamond will come out of the rough, like Mortal Kombat or the first Resident Evil. But those diamonds have both lost just a bit of their shine thanks to their unsatisfying sequels.
It's because of these low par money grab films that I tend to stay away from the "videogame to film" adaption market, but then I saw the trailer for Dead Rising: Watchtower! Now, just the mention of a Dead Rising film made me go "Oy!" and hope that it was only a rumor! I love the DR games, and I didn't want to see them tarnished by a bad film, so my reaction to Hollywood making a film out of them was like a father's reaction to his son dropping out college to become a professional homeless person; not good.
But then, the trailer comes out, and I'm intrigued. Why? Because when I saw the trailer, my eyes fixated on one particular logo; Crackle.
Yes, Crackle. The internet-only distributor of movies, TV shows and original content. Now, I've had Crackle sitting there on my PS3 for the longest time, the app just staring me in the face...every time I passed it to get to Netflix. I knew Crackle was good, but Netflix had more marketing behind it, and ultimately just looked better to me. But now, I've seen Dead Rising: Watchtower, a Crackle original film. And I have to say, without any exaggerating whatsoever, IT IS AMAZING! But I'm not just going to tell you it's good and leave you hanging, keep reading to find out my reasons for why you should be psyched to watch Dead Rising: Watchtower!
1. It's Free...But Good!
Ok, let's get this one out of the way. If you've heard of Crackle, you probably know that it's 100% free! There's no paywall, no trial period, no subscription service and no "required purchasable add-ons", you won't be spending a dime with this! But in a world absolutely obsessed with money, and subscription based services always being promoted as having the best content, one might look at Crackle's free accessibility and think "Well, they must have bad movies then." Trust me, I thought this too, but Dead Rising: Watchtower is no low-budget, shaky camera film! It's so well done for a free film! The shots, the effects, the movie magic is all there!
This movie looks like a film you should be paying for, and I honestly wouldn't mind buying it at all!
2. The Zombies Are Terrifying!
And I don't just mean to look at! Whenever I see a zombie movie, I always wonder why the survivors are always getting killed. The zombies are often slow, staggering and have zero control of their ligaments, and yet the humans always end up as chow. But in Dead Rising: Watchtower, the zombie threat is taken to a whole different level. The zombies can not only run pretty fast, but they have extremely good control of their body parts.
There limb control is so good, that a police officer zombie is actually able to take out his gun and fire at the protagonist. Sure he has terrible aim, but the fact that he can pull his gun out of its holster and pull down on the trigger is enough to make up for that! And don't even get me started on the terrifying zombie clown wielding an axe. It's like this movie read my fear journal.
3. It Doesn't Mess With The Games!
There's two types of videogame movies that I hate. Ones where it literally takes the plot of the game and just copies it over to the screen, and ones where it completely rewrites the story of the games, adding in its own little twists and turns to the point where the only thing the movie shares with the game is the name.
Sadly, Hollywood seems to think that these are the only two ways you can adapt a videogame to the big screen. Luckily, Dead Rising: Watchtower does something far more clever. The film is actually set a bit after the first DR game. In it, Frank West has become a hero after surviving in a mall that was overrun with the undead, and the story focuses on new character Chase Carter. The movie does an excellent job maintaining the plot and hype of the first game, while building on that to set up its world!
4. The Cast!
First off, the casting of Rob Riggle as Frank West was perfect! But it's not just Riggle's hilariousness that makes this movie great, the casting is solidly done! Jesse Metcalfe, Meghan Ory and Keegan Connor Tracy all play their part well. But, I will say that at times, the dialogue feels very forced. There were moments when it felt like they were trying too hard in a scene. I get that zombie movies are dramatic, but you don't need to be that dramatic.
But all in all, the cast is great and they treat this movie like it's a summer blockbuster that should be playing in theaters! It's great to see that despite the free tag and the online distribution, this movie is being taken seriously. Also, I should mention that Harley Morenstein from Epic Meal Time is in it.
Why should I mention that? Because it'd be a crime not to.
So There You Have It!
I could talk for hours about how great this movie is, and how faithful it is to the source material, right down to the wacky customizable weapons! But to do so would result in an article that would take longer to read than it would take to actually watch the movie! Plus, I don't want to spoil too much about this film.
So, final verdict? Dead Rising: Watchtower is a nice horror-comedy that rises far above the other films in its free market. A solid film without heavily relying on special effects, explosions and gore! It perfectly balances the line between horror and comedy, without straying too much into either. You may not get scared by this movie, especially if you've seen The Walking Dead or any other zombie-related entertainment, but it is chilling (did I mention the axe-wielding zombie clown?!)!
Watching this movie for free is certainly a steal, but take advantage of it and watch this amazing videogame-to-film adaption! And that's the great thing about this, if you don't want to take my word for it, just go and watch it for yourself on Crackle for free! Dead Rising: Watchtower will be available on crackle.com and on the Crackle app on March 27th! Thanks Legendary Digital Media and Crackle for making such an epic film!