Overall Recommendation:
2.7 stars
(23)
5 Stars:
8.7%
(2)
 
4 Stars:
21.74%
(5)
 
3 Stars:
17.39%
(4)
 
2 Stars:
34.78%
(8)
 
1 Stars:
17.39%
(4)
 
Premise:
3.4 stars
(21)
 
Story structure:
2.5 stars
(20)
 
Character:
2.9 stars
(20)
 
Dialogue:
2.5 stars
(20)
 
Emotion:
2.4 stars
(19)
 
 
1-10 of 23 reviews
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0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Zombies v Gladiators

Overall Recommendation:
1 stars
 
Premise:
1 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
1 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
October 30, 2017
I have seen both the storyboard and the video for this project, and I also read the second draft of the script. I'm not really excited by the premise; as others have said, it sounds like a cheap afternoon TV movie that could air on Syfy. I get it, zombies are in these days, and period films crossed with zombies have not really been done before (I'm just going to go ahead and ignore Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, and Abraham Lincoln: Zombie Hunter). But zombies with gladiators? Honestly, it made me think of Cowboys & Aliens. This isn't a pairing I was expecting or wanting to see happen.

For story structure, I understand what you were going for. The three-act structure is there, I believe, but there is no real sense of evolution for the characters, they're just a list of TV/movie tropes. I couldn't identify with any of them. Titus has no weakness, absolutely none. He isn't disabled (physically or mentally), he isn't the underdog, he never doubts himself or his ability to lead and fight. The man was a prince and lead a revolution, finds himself in the Coliseum, at the very bottom of Roman society; has lost the woman he loved and his newborn son, and he never weeps nor shows anger or frustration. His purpose in life seems to be kicking zombie butt. He is never truly in danger, he never makes a mistake, he is never surprised. I don't know if you're familiar with the Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu trope in fanfiction, but perhaps you should read about it.
The supporting characters have no substance either. I don't care for Daria. Why is she here? How did she end up with Titus? She only exists for him. Just because you create a female who is skilled in combat doesn't mean she's a full character. She has no purpose in life than to love Titus and fight for him. Plus, she conveniently becomes a zombie halfway through, and is saved by the power of looove. How original. I don't buy into their love story, it's forced upon us. It doesn't happen naturally at all. Why couldn't Titus be hurt by the zombie? That would have given an arc to Daria (going from second-in-command to leader, and fighting against Lavinia) and a better fight at the end, since both Titus and Flavius would be zombies at this point.
Concerning your antagonists, I just don't buy it either. Why is Flavius evil? Why does Lavinia want to be seen as the saviour of Rome? Is Flavius jealous of Titus, and if so why? Is it a love-hate relationship à la Thor and Loki, from the MCU? Or is it something more Shakespearean, like Orlando and Oliver's relationship in As You Like It?
And what of Lavinia's and Titus' past relationship? Why did she choose Flavius in the end? You need to refine your characters, give them a past life and motivations. Even if everything isn't answered in the script (we don't need to know everything, just enough to understand and care for your characters), knowing what kind of life your characters have led will inform you on the choices they would make in your story, thus making it more human and emotionally true. You must strive for emotional truth. It could compensate for the gaps in your story.
(By the way, and this is a detail at this point, but your movie doesn't pass the Bechdel test. Admittedly the test has its flaws, but it is a useful guideline for screenwriters. Think about it.)

When it comes to the script, you really need to work on it. There are no logical links between the scenes, and no true voice emerges through the dialogue. I can't see any difference between the characters when they speak. The type of language you use isn't always consistent either, you mix daily English vocabulary and sentence structure with a higher register of language, which cannot work. Also, can we lay off the expletives? You can convey frustration in other ways. Show us your characters are angry, don't tell us. Make them stomp their foot, scream, shake, frown, pace, whatever works for them. Swearing is not the only way to show you're angry. I would also recommend that you vary the sentence rhythm; write monologues and interweave them with snapping sentences, witticisms, one-worded replies. Have fun while you're writing, and it will be felt in the story too. To help you in this endeavour, I would recommend 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing, by Gary Provost.

Finally, you don't really respect the zombie genre conventions. I don't believe that movies must honour every convention, but you need at least a few to provide anchors to your viewers. There needs to be a logic to it. How about resetting your story in the country, instead of Rome? The story could follow the exile of Titus after his failed revolution, and his quest to get back to Rome and reclaim his throne. Moreover, many zombie stories take place in abandoned or remote places, in order to properly convey the sense of loneliness and decay, as well as maximizing the fear factor. Seeing Titus alone would also give the opportunity to the audience to care for him.

While I still don't subscribe to the premise at all, I believe that the familial and political intrigue has potential. Make your characters more believable, give them flaws, and give the women something other to do than being the Action Girl that ends up needing to be saved and the Malevolent Power-Hungry Ex-Girlfriend; work on your dialogue and story structure, and you could have something interesting.
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Zombies Vs Gladiators

Overall Recommendation:
1 stars
 
Premise:
1 stars
 
Story structure:
1 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
February 27, 2017
There have been so many zombie movies. Have you considered unleashing some other evil other than zombies? Something new and original in this arena. How about Flavius brings in the Boker to be guardian for the child, hoping it can raise, train and bestow special powers to overtake Titus and everyone else who rebels against him yet it somehow backfires.
 
2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful:

SyFy anyone?

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
2 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
July 01, 2016
Even after the revision, it looks likes something that would come on SyFy during the middle of the afternoon.

The premise is tired. There are so many zombie movies out there, this one will need a lot of character development before it can rise above the others. Cockneys vs Zombies. Pride and Predjudice Zombies. Zombie Strippers. Etc.

I'm sure it will sell to some audience, but I don't see this being a great shebang.
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombie example - Cinematic Zombies

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
February 25, 2016
It happened with Pride and Prejudice, people are not willing to pay for a historic piece that includes zombies, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter was a different thing. Sure, you can put zombies anywhere and make it look plausible, but why include it in the title? Why give it away and turn the movie into a bad B-movie or Z-movie?

Zombies do not sell as a stand-alone villain. They are not sexy like vampires, they have no personality most of the times. I would love to see a great gladiator movie with a twist, but it has to be sold better than that. Keep it simple, without mentioning zombies. There was plague back in ancient times, possibly many similar viruses! A mob of rabid men due to poison or due to a virus or a bite or some contaminated water sounds totally plausible. There were no records for such events. Someone could have used the infected people exactly like lions and tigers for Colosseum. They would never call them zombies or living dead though, they would have a Latin name, something related to Death. There has to be more mystery and suspense, hordes of zombies are totally boring nowadays, it's not the eighties anymore. Lately in the Walking Dead they went so far to even butcher a whole horde of zombies and clean the city.

I would love to see the ancient version of the zombies and how some tough gladiators would try the best to fight them, how they would turn from slaves into heroes. Rome is also knows for conspiracies, a weird emperor could be behind all that. The discovery of the truth could be a great reason to kill the emperor. Or the opposite, an unpopular emperor that takes the right decision to burn the city (!!!) so that the undead creatures can finally be destroyed.

You did some wonderful storyboards by the way and you seem to care a lot about the production! It would be sad for such a thing to fail! I think that viewers are not stupid anymore and that movies like Sharnado and other silly sci-fi flicks get some nice ratings simply because they are too bad and they run on TV. Viewers are not dumb, especially zombie fans. I was raised with the zombie pop culture since an early age, after Michael Jackson's Thriller I went straight to Return of the Living Dead and even Re-animator as a child. They were scary, but only because I was still a child. The first Romero zombie movie I managed to watch in the theaters was Land of the Dead. And it was great. Because Romero was old school, and within the first 10 minutes he revealed his protagonist, the African-American zombie, exactly like the rules during the golden age of Hollywood. That was innovation. Did people notice? Only a few. His zombies crossed the sea, that wasn't new, done by Jean Rollin in Zombie Lake and even in Shock Waves. But Land of the Dead had more elements inside, explored new territories. It had great actors and gave them room to act. It was also very symbolic like the original trilogy. It made more sense than 28 Days Later, but in the end it wasn't as successful as Shaun of the Dead for some reason. What did Shaun do better than LOTD? Nothing, it was simply British humor that made it look good. But how can a gladiator movie with zombies can compete? It's not exactly a comedy, judging by the storyboards, not exactly cheap, and not as serious as the Walking Dead. Can it work?

There was a great time for sword and sandal movies back in the late 50's and early 60's. There was even a darker Hercules movie directed by Mario Bava, where he steps in the underworld. So why not connecting the undead with Hades or elements from Latin and Greek Mythology? Gladiator with Russell Crowe was a huge success, although it felt almost like a sci-fi adventure by the trailer. I think that was the reason somehow that people got attracted by it, the silver mask, the tiger, the great lines. You try to go big here, so why not try to compete to a movie like Gladiator, together with elements from Romero's symbolism about society? Life in ancient Rome was pretty scary on its own, especially at night. Poor people were afraid to go out at night, so any growl or scratch on the door will make them poop themselves for real. If the viewer can feel the tragedy of the situation and can later see one or more heroes rise to defend the poor and the innocent, especially against the emperor and the senators, then you have a great epic heroic movie that goes beyond body horror and gory zombie flicks.

Make this one count! Otherwise I see no point into having a 300-type movie with zombies instead of a Persian Army. If another zombie movie fails like Pride and Prejudice did, the whole sub-genre will only survive in television and no other zombie movie will find a way to the silver screen, which is awful. Do it as if Ridley Scott would work together with Mario Bava for the script and with Sergio Leone as a cinematographer, with Steve Reeves' ghost in a cameo appearance and Nicotero behind the special effects...
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Re: Zombies vs. Gladiators

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
No rating
 
Character:
No rating
 
Dialogue:
No rating
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
November 11, 2015
Greetings,

This sounds like a fantastic synopsis premise for a Zombies vs. Gladiators genre project! I wish you and your partners the very best with getting this placed or optioned, indeed ...

Sincerely,

G. B. Katich
Screenwriter/Director
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

IMHO

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
October 12, 2015
The idea of Gladiators and Roman Legions fighting against zombie hordes is a great one.
That being said I can't see it doing well with it's current storyboard.

The following is just my humble opinion. It's free so take it at face value if you wish.

Try to work in a bit more history. Perhaps make the zombie king invulnerable except to a holy object like the holy spear (spear of destiny) which works well with the timeline.
Julius Caesar was born in 100 A.D. Why not make the story centered around a young Julius?
Love interest could be a slave owned by the general he is being mentored by.
They are sent with 2 legions to an outlying district to investigate the local Senator.
The evil Senator meddles in the dark arts. The African witch doctor his tutor, At least until the Senator betrays him, kills him but with his last breaths the doctor curses both the Senator and Rome. "To never die, but never live. To feel hunger but never full.." Something like that.
Have the Senator get "killed", reanimate hungry, bite someone else. They narrowly escape thanks to the Gladiator's help, re-from with the legions encamped outside the town. Story of the spear of destiny comes out. They go after it and along the way both the general he serves and his love interest are killed. Julius takes command, gets the spear, kills the bad guy with it, returns home the hero, and goes on to rule Rome with it in his hand.


P.S.

Zombies feeling pain is a bit of a stretch.

The scene where he kills the pregnant woman and bathes in her blood...yeah. That goes just a bit too far.
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Words and more words

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
1 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
September 11, 2015
This script is 144/over 150 pages - too long and too wordy. The action scenes need tightening considerably - at the moment faced with large blocks of prose. Shorten them all - less is more.
The dialogue is unconvincing, and again far too wordy - tighten it up or cut, cut, cut. The premise is interesting - I can see the appeal to a mass audience.
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Familiar, Yet Compelling

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
August 04, 2015
I read the storyboard for this project and found it very compelling. It takes the popular zombie genre and put it into a historical Roman Coliseum setting (I am willing to forgo accuracy for the sake of the genre). I expected to read a few pages of the storyboard but was pulled in and read the entire thing. I could absolutely see this as a movie and it has a familiar feel with the genre, but different enough to be enticing.
 
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

ineteresante.

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
la unión de dos mundos nunca mostrados, interesante propuesta.
 
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

No Basis in History

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
February 20, 2015
Is this alternate history? If so, please let me know and I'll rewrite the review, but in 170 AD Marcus Aurelius was emperor. He had no brother named Titus. His wife plotted against him when she thought he was dying. This story has no basis in fact. Female gladiator? Super females, possessing powers beyond those of mortal males - that theme has been done to death. (Agent Carter). These days, EVERY female is better than her male contemporaries.
 

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