Overall Recommendation:
2.7 stars
(24)
5 Stars:
8.33%
(2)
 
4 Stars:
20.83%
(5)
 
3 Stars:
20.83%
(5)
 
2 Stars:
33.33%
(8)
 
1 Stars:
16.67%
(4)
 
Premise:
3.4 stars
(22)
 
Story structure:
2.5 stars
(21)
 
Character:
2.9 stars
(21)
 
Dialogue:
2.5 stars
(21)
 
Emotion:
2.5 stars
(20)
 
 
1-10 of 24 reviews
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3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Heavy on political intrigue and dialogue, light on action

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
April 19, 2012
First of all, I gotta be honest; I didn't read the entire script. And frankly, I didn't need to. I got a good 30 to 40 pages in, and that alone was enough to formulate some thoughts.

We can ALL see the GREAT potential this concept has: 300 meets 28 DAYS LATER/DAWN OF THE DEAD/take your pick of recent fun zombie movies. There's a tremendous central question at the heart of this story: how would the Romans have dealt with a zombie outbreak? Sword and sandal epics mixed with undead apocalypse. Brilliant. I wish I had thought of it myself.

Now...you've got to take into account the audience for this movie. Fanboys who want to see swords and spears hacking at zombie flesh. THAT is the draw for this movie, so the script has GOT to deliver the goods in this regard. Let there be NO delays in the drawing of blood.

300 doesn't waste any time getting to the violence. Nor does Zack Snyder's previous offering, the remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD. 5 minutes in, we've got corpses, we've got bloodshed, we've got all kinds of hell breaking loose in both films pretty much.

How does THIS script compare? Well, within the first 5 pages, we've got a catalyst/inciting incident in the form of a Celtic priestess who "infects" a Roman centurion, Mundus, with the zombie plague. Not the most exciting scene, but it gets the job done. Check.

10 pages in, Mundus arrives at port, full zombie mode. Check.

In between those two scenes, we meet our protagonists, Hector and Marcus, and most of the major characters. Check. These are all things that SHOULD happen in the first 10-15 pages. But...

What's missing here?

Tension. The overarching sense that something tumultuous is going to happen. Yes, there's some blood spilled by Hector in a scene of character introduction that clarifies just how tough he is...but it ain't ZOMBIE blood.

What happens in the next 20 to 30 pages? I can give you a hint; it doesn't feature anything in the way of the zombie plague worsening, zombies chowing down on humans, or humans slaughtering zombies. Instead, we get a whole lot of political intrigue...and a lot of that involves TALK. Not action...talk.

Maybe all of this political intrigue is going to pay off later on in the script. I wouldn't be surprised if it does. But it doesn't matter, because beyond page 10, the writer has already lost me. In fact, the writer didn't really hook me from the start. ADEQUATE does not equal COMPELLING when it comes to plot.

Talk is the death of many scripts..and there's entirely too much of it going on in this one. The more characters talk, the less they do, physically. I couldn't care less about all the hype surrounding the upcoming battle between Hector and Marcus, or Gallus' scheming ways. I want to see the poop hit the fan, and I want it in the first 5 minutes, or shortly thereafter.

Here's one quick idea off the top of my head: instead of following up Mundus' departure from Hibernia with Hector's scene of introduction, how about we stick with Mundus' ship? Night has fallen. The crew is mostly asleep, except for Mundus' manservant. He goes to check on his master. The manservant opens the door to Mundus' quarters, finds everything in disarray...as though some wild animal had been turned loose inside the quarters. Suddenly, Mundus emerges from the shadows, fully zombified. He chows down on his manservant. Next, Optio, Mundus' second in command, awakens to the sounds of melee. He emerges from his quarters and finds ALL HELL has broken loose onboard. Mundus has bitten his manservant, who in turn has bitten other Roman soldiers...it's a bloody free-for-all. It doesn't take but a second or two for a free zombie to spot his next meal...Optio. Optio, being the well-trained soldier that he is, manages to repel or even kill his first attacker. He might even manage to hack and stab his way onto the main deck, where he discovers that the zombies quickly outnumber the survivors. From there, he could decide to do any number of things: 1)find a way to contain the zombies somehow 2)jump off ship 3)succumb to the zombie plague.

Whether you take the above suggested scene seriously or not, you've got to admit that it's a lot more exciting than listening to a bunch of Romans TALKING about the things they're going to do instead of actually DOING them.

Don't hold back on unleashing the zombie plague; it should be largely uncontrollable from the get-go. We want to see it spread exponentially. We want to see some stupid, unprepared victims succumb quickly before they've had a chance to figure out what's going on, while others--the heroes of our story, the kind of men with lightning quick reflexes whose instincts are to ACT FIRST and THINK LATER--fend off the plague, regroup, and decide on their next course of action.

Let's get to the body count, pronto.
 
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.
 
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.
 
3 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Christopher J Knight’s review of ZOMBIES V GLADIATORS

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
October 02, 2013
PREMISE *****
How can you go wrong with a title such as ZOMBIES v GLADIATORS? I wish I thought of that!

STORY/STRUCTURE ***
From the title you would have guessed that we would have been in for an out-and-out monster story, but the script aims to be more intelligent than that. There are references to slaves and class struggle and to some extent, the zombies are only the backdrop for the villain’s political manoeuvring, etc.

CHARACTER ***
The characters are quite distinctive. Hector is the reluctant hero and Gallus and Antonius are great baddies. I loved the idea of a zombie elephant!

DIALOGUE ***
The dialogue seemed excessive at times. I would have preferred a more Shakespearean/period feel to it to add authenticity. I would have also added more ethnical phrases, as there are characters from all over the world in this story… and yet they seem to all speak in the same Romanesque manner?

EMOTION **
This is a zombie film, so no real emotion needed here other than being “scared”.

OTHER
The script was a pleasure to read, because the writer’s style is very similar to my own. Perhaps less use of adverbs, though? I would have preferred a PDF version to a RTF file. I am guessing that there is a conversion issue here, as the script ran to 147 pages and there were double & triple line spaces for no reason and scene headings were left at the bottom of pages… and scene headings were often left without any time signature, etc. A general tidy up is required.

As THE MAN WITH BLACK HAIR has a lot to say I would definitely give him a name in the character cues. This also applies to some other characters.
 
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.
 
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:

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:

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:

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.
 
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...
 

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