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Canadians Take A Crack At Zombies: Severed (2005) Review

Cut to a few days later and John decides to send his less than interested son Tyler out to investigate the lack of communication from the camp as well as learn more hands on knowledge about the company.

Upon arrival at the camp Tyler is attacked by zombie loggers and he flees for his life.

He receives help from a small gang of survivors who are hiding out trying to figure out what exactly is happening.

The gang includes some loggers, some nature activists and Tyler, the company man.

The story is pretty straight forward.

People are attacked by zombie loggers.

It doesn’t get much mpler than that does it?

I really enjoyed this movie for what it was:


A straight up zombie movie. 2.

A look at how destruction of nature by clear cut logging is having such a horrible impact on everything around us.

Message is:

mother nature is going to strike back and when she does, it won’t be pretty.

Now I know that second one is a bit preachy but that’s ok.

We’re preached at all day.

If you can’t dig the nature striking back angle then just enjoy it for a mple, well made, zombie flick.

When researching this one I had read many comments of people complaining about the shaky and often out of focus look to everything when the zombies were attacking.

This actually worked as a potive for me.

It’s very hard to properly film a zombie movie I would think.

Every zombie movie ever made tends to walk the very fine line of terrifying and cheezy.

Having a film maker take himself too serious can kill a zombie movie and having a film maker be too lly can also kill the movie.

For me, having up close, somewhat shaky camera work is really the only way I’ll take a modern zombie movie seriously.

If you’ve seen the movie, think about those guys walking along and filming it as a steady shot.

I bet it would have looked ridiculous and not threatening at all.

Actually, this technique is generally the way I like most of my action scenes shot.

Close up, quick and a bit manic.

It gives that feeling of urgency and an almost dreamlike quality.

That same feeling you get when you get in a tense tuation that you never really know what’s going on but you ride it out and hope for the best.

Kind of like when Ralphie from A ChristmasStory (1983) finally gets to see Santa at the mall.

That scene captures that manic feel perfectly.

It’s all a POV shot and there are bright lights in his face, people talking to him and trying to rush him and everyone has a very Charlie Brown’s teachers sound to them.

Then all of a sudden the tuation is over and Ralphie more or less wonders, “What the fuck just happened?”

That’s how you make me on the edge of my seat during action scenes.

Works for me but obviously not everyone else.

For the most part, the action, gore and make up are all top notch in this one.

I thought the zombies were believable and even the set-up for as thin as it is works for me.

Sometimes with zombie movies less is more.

When you get into deep thinking on why this happened and so on, you bog the movie down.

Mind you the vague, “we have no idea what’s going on” scenario is getting a bit played out but that’s probably because it works the best with this type of horror flick.

Bacally, the logging company decided to start injecting fungus around the trees with a hormone intended to make the trees grow to full ze in a third of the time.

Like I said, bac set up and it works.

Now there were a few complaints I had and they weren’t until the last 20 minutes of the movie.

Eventually the gang ,after escaping through the woods, end up at another encampment of loggers who have been on their own for a while.

milar set-up for them as to why they are on their own.

Other loggers turned to zombies and they became cut off.

Here’s the thing, as far as we know this was an isolated incident.

If it was isolated as Tyler’s dad seems surprised all this happened, then when did this attack happen to these other loggers?

Not a big complaint, just a bit confused.

And these other loggers are acting like it’s a world apocalypse.

Can’t they get out of there with all the bullets, food and beer they seem to have.

Also, just how many zombies are there?

The loggers seem to randomly have “fun” and let some zombies in and they kill them as a game.

First time was 5 in, next time was 3.

There can’t be hundreds of workers out there in these camps.

Not to my knowledge anyway.

So if they can play games with killing them, shouldn’t they be able to get rid of them fairly quickly?

It’s not like this takes place in a city where new zombies would ealy happen on a regular bas.

There’s only so many loggers out in those woods.

And…where is all the beer coming from?

They’re all drinking beer constantly and all the time.

If they are cut off from everyone like they said, wouldn’t there be a shortage of beer?

I doubt there’s much alcohol on these logging camps anyway so I’m not sure where it came from.

One last complaint, the main activist Rita has her boyfriend turn into a zombie and he is hacked apart by another gang member much to Rita’s utter terror.

Yet not even a day later she’s kisng Tyler in the make shift camp.


You forgot about your boyfriend and have moved on in under 24 hours?

But these are all small complaints.

As I said, for about 75% of the movie I was in hook, line and nker.

I got a bit picky near the end but that’s probably because I’ve been spoiled by the tight writing of recent zombie fare like The Walking Dead.

Wrap Up: Severed is a great little zombie movie and it gets bonus points for being Canadian Made.

Canada has produced some of the better and more original horror movies, especially slashers, that I’ve ever seen.

Canada was once the poor man’s everything when it came to film and televion but in the last 25 to 30 years, we’ve really carved out our own niche and while it use to take 5 to 10 seconds to figure out you were watching something Canadian by how terrible it was, now you can tell something is Canadian by how artistic it is.

Canada has it’s own style and way of doing things and while it’s not for everyone, it’s become very distinct in it’s own right.


8/10 - Bassai did a fantastic job in my eyes.

As I said, what I read that most didn’t like is exactly what I liked.

I never heard of Bassai before this flick but I’ll be keeping an eye out for his other movies.

He definitely has a style that’s effective.

Performances: 7/10 – Good for the most part.

It really lost points with me when everyone got to the other abandoned logging camp.

I felt the main guy (can’t remember his name.

Fat fella) was the worst.

He wasn’t demanding of respect like his character was intended.

He came off goof-ish and unconvincing.


7/10 – Again, great for the most part.

There were spurts of CGI blood here and there that looked genuine.

I have zero tolerance for most CGI blood but here it worked.

Maybe it was the coloring.

However, most kills were done off screen.

You hear the whacks, screams and bites but that in-depth gore wasn’t there.

I’ll assume due to budgetary restraints.

Script: 4/10 – Nothing original or even interesting but it worked.

I know I just preached the effectiveness of less is more but a bit extra could have saved the script.

Pacing: 7/10 – Was pretty brisk for the most part but again, when the gang arrives at the other camp, things bog down and the last 20 minutes kind of felt like 45 minutes.

Not horrible by any means but it could have been tightened up.


6.5 / 10 – The same mark as with the other zombie movie I reviewed recently, Zombi 3.

Mind you the 6.5 received here is for vastly different reasons than with Zombi 3.

Take the time to search out this one.

It’s worth the while I think.

Alternate artwork:

Asmodeus Tuesday 11/27/2012 at 04:13 PM | 98540
It makes me scary...
lampard Wednesday 12/12/2012 at 12:49 AM | 99201