Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard full movie review - 'Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard' does not in fact contain elephants nor a graveyard.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. The market is completely saturated at this point in time with zombies.
No matter where you look, there is a flesh-eater behind the corner, looking to take a bite of an appendage and turn you into the bloodthirsty undead. You just can't escape it. So of course, Harrison Smith (the guy who brought you the Corey Feldman gem, '6 Degrees of Hell'), had to let us know what he thought about the zombie genre and what new and fresh ideas he could bring to this world.
Despite some impressive sweeping shots that make this low budget zombie film look almost like a Hollywood blockbuster, as well as a few known actors such as Dee Wallace Stone, Mischa Barton, and Billy Zane, this zombie film never really goes anywhere nor does it pack a big and powerful punch like it desperately wants to. Even the title is a bit misleading. 'Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard' does not in fact contain elephants nor a graveyard. Instead, the film centers on a town called Elwood, which is fenced off and looked after by a group of people who have dubbed themselves the 'zombie killers'.
The leader of this pack is Billy Zane himself, who proves to be the only one worthy of discussion in this film, because the rest of the dozens and dozens of characters are either on screen for a couple of minutes only, or their characters are so poorly fleshed out, that you can't begin to care for anything they do or say throughout the entire film. This town of Elwood seems to be the last place on Earth for human survivors to rest easily, due to the zombie apocalypse that was brought on by oil fracking. Yes, you read that correctly, oil fracking. Due to the caution the survivors use and the zombie killers doing their job, this town has stayed relatively safe.
However, there is something much more sinister than zombies trying to get in that might jeopardize the citizens of Elwood. And that is the main conflict we are dealing with here, which is a decent set up. Like in George Romero's Undead franchise or John Carpenter's 'The Thing', humans themselves may just turn out to be the real threat against each other, and that's what Harrison Smith tries to convey on film, but in doing so, he forgot to place zombies in his actual film. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.
Sure, zombies do show up, but it isn't until the final moments of the movie. Prior to an antic-climactic zombie horde towards the end of the film, we only see zombies from a distance if at all. Hell, I can't even remember a zombie munching down on anyone before the end, hence there is not a whole lot of gore or blood here. The dozens and dozens of characters in the film don't amount to much and their over- the-top melodrama, whether it be a love triangle, pregnancy, cancer, or something else, completely detracts from the situation at hand. Not to mention that all of these story lines receive enough attention, because they don't.
There are times when 'Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard' seems self aware of what exactly it is trying to be, but there are so many references or paying tribute scenes and dialogue to other films, that the story never really progresses past the fact that a director just wanted to throw in everything he thought he liked about zombies into one movie, and that's a shame, because it had promise.