‘Dead Trigger’ Blu-ray Review
Do you ever stop to think how truly lucky we are? We’re lucky to exist at the time we do: we’re blessed with modern medicine, rapid and constant advances in technology, we get to experience Adele in all her glory (she is truly a gift), and we even have access to nearly every bit of human knowledge throughout time. But none of that compares to the absolute luxury afforded to us in the vein of “bad zombie movies.” I, for one, am absolutely and blissfully thankful that these terrible films exist in a way that is so perfectly good.
Last month I wrote about a zombie movie that was genuinely excellent, The Dead Don’t Die. The movie I watched this morning (It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry), Dead Trigger, isn’t even remotely comparable –not even in the same universe, so naturally I’m going to compare them! I see terribly wonderful zombie movies like Dead Trigger as somber individuals wondering about the genre itself, when it was younger and free. There’s such a difference, and a million miles, between these two types of films.
Bad zombie movies come in all shapes and sizes. By “all shapes” I mean one basic shape with a few different elements here and there, and by “all sizes” I mean roughly the same run-time with pretty much the same exact pacing each time. It’s truly incredible how countless movies in this genre all exist in almost identical spaces: of course sometimes the government is involved, and sometimes it’s a bunch of high schoolers, but it’s irrelevant, because really, all that matters is how and when zombies turn up out of the blue, uninvited, and havoc, blood, and guts proverbially set fire to the rain.
Dead Trigger is no different. It’s cheesy at times, funny at times (intentionally or otherwise), cliché at times, extremely cliché at times, brutal at times, and gory at times, but overall it gets the job done. Naturally there are highs, highs, highs, highs, but also lows, lows, lows, lows. Dolph Lundgren is there for some reason, and for quite a while I’ve wished nothing but the best for him, so it is good to see him still working. It’s not him or any of the other actors that make this bad zombie movie awesome, no; this movie reached its fever pitch because it (again, intentionally or not) doesn’t take itself so seriously that we need to turn it off and find someone/something new. It’s just a movie that you can watch in a meta way: from the outside.
That being said, this movie truly could have had it all. There were moments where it felt like Starship Troopers, but with only a fraction of whatever kind of polish that movie had. It had a similar feel at times to Ivan Reitman’s Stripes, but it never fell hard enough into that vibe –it never rolled into that deep if you will. It should have, because the rag-tag group of misfit soldiers motif could have had it all.
But those kinds of misses don’t really matter, because I don’t think this movie or any movie like it is really going for perfection, or cinematic quality by any conventional standard. These movies are just excuses to make films. The budgets are never so big that anyone feels guilty about doing what they want. The casts are never so egotistical that the crew is walking on eggshells about every little thing. They are just pure film-making exercises with a lot of people sharpening their skills a little for their next project. They’re stepping stones –games where you always win.
Dead Trigger comes to Blu-ray via a MPEG-4 AVC codec, that is apparently in 1080p high definition. So there’s that. There’s a 16×9 (2.40:1) presentation involved, which is nice, but the presentation is sub-par. The picture is dark, black levels are inconsistent, and colors crush and become an issue. The movie is visible, that’s for sure, but it doesn’t scream 1080p.
If it was shot on a zzX4-potato it would have been the same film and the same experience really. The effects aren’t great by any means but they definitely get the job done. But I don’t think many of us are distinguishing bad zombie movies by their video presentation…
If you couldn’t tell immediately that Dead Trigger was 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio there is seriously something wrong with you. But more curmudgeonly, if you can hear, this film suffices. The surround sound uses the wide array of speakers and the subwoofer is an adequate addition to the experience.
This was a pretty big let down. The only extra features were a few Lionsgate trailers and some bookmark feature that I have no actual desire to use. That’s kind of a bummer, but I’m over it.
I’m going to sit here, and flat out tell you, this is a bad movie, but as a certain Ralph taught me, it’s not bad. Rumour has it, bad movies can be exceptionally enjoyable. And Dead Trigger is a prime example. If you are going to watch the movie for its depth or character development; I have bad news for you. But if you are just trying to have, like, an hour and a half of mindless fun: that’s the move.
At the end of the day I’m left thinking only that sometimes it lasts in bad zombie movies, and sometimes it hurts instead.
- Movie Itself
- Video Presentation
- Audio Presentaiton
- Extra Features
Dead Trigger is set in a world where a mysterious virus has killed billions and turned many others into bloodthirsty zombies. Unable to stop the virus, the government develops a video game, “Dead Trigger,” that mirrors the terrifying events that curse the world.