Years after a mysterious plague has devastated the planet and turned most of humanity into blood-hungry creatures, a rogue drifter on a vengeful hunt stumbles across a band of survivors in an abandoned police station and reluctantly agrees to try to help them defend themselves and escape to the sanctuary they so desperately need.
To be honest, I feel sorry for those zombies. Their life really is meaningless. A numb existence without any excitement or pleasure. No pleasant dinners at a favorite restaurant. Or well-deserved vacation on a sunny beach. No sports or interesting hobbies. Their sole purpose is hunting uninfected fellow men. And when there’s nobody left to hunt, the only thing they can do is standing idly somewhere, probably wondering what to do next. Dead boring in other words. The undead in “Daylight’s End” have an additional problem. They hate sunlight. Much like the creatures in “I’m Legend“. The only difference with the latter film is that you knew how the misery began. In this movie the filmmakers keep you dangling.
ZOMPIRES OR VAMBIES?
Nowadays it’s pretty hard to come up with an original zombie movie, since the market is flooded with this genre. Here they tried to give a different twist to this sub-genre by giving the bloodthirsty creatures characteristics of a vampire. That’s immediately demonstrated in the opening scene when Rourke (Johnny Strong) finds an undead hiding in a freezer. In no time it’s being reduced by Rourke into a smoldering barbecue sausage.
THE NEW MAD MAX
Rourke is a loner who travels across the U.S. as a kind of Mad Max in his armored Plymouth, equipped with a complete arsenal of firearms. His only goal in life is to eliminate as much murderous mutated persons as possible. As gunmen did in the Wild West, he keeps track of the score by carving notches in the butt of his rifle with his immense dagger. The not so talkative Rourke looks ultra-cool and mega-efficiently. The controlled way of attacking, the calm look, always a well thought out answer and always using a targeted plan to take revenge on the creatures responsible for the death of his wife. All this makes him the ultimate anti-hero.
FAST PACED, ACTION-PACKED ZOMBIE MAYHEM
Although this is a low-budget film, at times the images used aren’t inferior to those of some blockbusters. By contrast, the acting level of some equals that of an actor in an ordinary television program. Luckily Lance Henriksen’s contribution was significantly better than that in “Harbinger Down“. And what a surprise. You’ll also be witnessing some stupid decisions. Obviously this is necessary in this genre of films. Otherwise nothing significantly would happen. Is there a postive side to this film? Yep of course. It’s generously filled with action and swift, fierce confrontations. When Rourke joins a group of survivors, ex-policemen who barricaded themselves in a police station in downtown Dallas, and tries to fend off the daily attacks by zombies, a seemingly infinite number of battle scenes are presented. And it’s also hard to keep track of the number of headshots.
And that was the biggest let down for me. After 15 minutes, the course of a confrontation was quite predictable and a bit trite. Over and over again a significant number of zombies are gunned down by a hail of bullets but they still managed to grab a poor soul every time. Oddly enough Rourke failed to hit the big leader despite his skills as a shooter. And skills he has! His precision is masterly and time after time again it’s breathtaking to see how an opponent ends up with a gaping bullet wound right in the middle of the forehead. After seeing the head size off the end boss, it’s hard to believe he could miss that. “Daylight’s end” won’t show anything new. It’s an action-packed horror and the frantic pace makes sure you won’t get bored eventually.