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Redcon-1: A routine gore workout

This latest outing of the undead sees a group of soldiers battle a zombie plague

28 September, 2018 — By By Dan Carrier

Oris Erhuero in Redcon-1

Directed by Chee Keong Cheung
Certificate 18

So, we all know the premise: Humans rise from the dead with inflamed eyes, mouldy bits and pieces, and a savage lust for blood. It’s standard zombie fare, and 50 years after George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead trilogy, it’s hard not to agree that we have seen it all before.

Redcon-1 plumps for the bio-hazard plot as a reason for the undead. It’s been used elsewhere, too – the excellent Jacob’s Ladder (no zombie film but instead drawing on such incidents as the massacre at My Lai, the guilt over the Vietnam felt by the baby boomer generation) has a group of veterans suffer psychotic traits as a LSD-style pathogen gives them flashbacks. In Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, it’s an accidental release of a virus. Redcon-1 opts for an infection concocted by a doctor conducting experiments at a high-security centre for violent offenders.

London is in quarantine, and we meet a crack group of soldiers who are going to rush into the city, dodge a load of zombies, find the scientist responsible, extract him and hope he has some ideas for a cure. But the group, led by Captain Stanton (Oris Erhuero), are not always what they seem, and the mission might also have other aims, too…

Some zombie films play it for laughs, and within this group there is a sub-genre: the zombie gorefest.

Alexis Chandon’s iconic low-budget Bad Karma is a classic example (shot round West Hampstead, South End Green and Parliament Hill Fields, and available on YouTube). It means trying to entertain the viewer with as imaginative an ending for a character as is possible.

Redcon-1 is firmly within this sphere, and revels in disgusting gore. From a man impaled on a fence, a barbed-wire crown round this head and his arms spread out mimicking the crucifixion, to an opening montage of extreme violence, you can’t say you haven’t been warned.

Add a bevy of beefcakes waffling nonsense that must’ve looked bad on the page and sounds even worse when barked above the sound of groaning and gunshots, throw in the plot twist that sees the heroes cover their army fatigues in chunks of tripe as a “disguise” and you begin to think Chee Keong Cheung is having a truly fabulous time – so out of courtesy, do your best to enjoy it.


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