Overall Recommendation:
4.5 stars
(2)
5 Stars:
50.0%
(1)
 
4 Stars:
50.0%
(1)
 
3 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
4.0 stars
(2)
 
Story structure:
4.0 stars
(2)
 
Character:
4.0 stars
(2)
 
Dialogue:
4.0 stars
(2)
 
Emotion:
3.5 stars
(2)
 
 
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2 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

(over-)fulfills all expectations

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
November 23, 2011
If a movie is titled "Zombies vs Gladiators", you have certain expectations about it:
muscular fighters, damsels in distress, senators in tunics, the Collosseum, fights, last second deus-ex-machina rescues, gory death scenes and of course lots and lots and lots of zombies. And more zombies. And even... you catch my drift.

This expectations are all met, and the movie stays true to its genre and title.
It even has a fight with a zombie elephant in an amphitheatrum!

The main characters are a convicted Roman soldier, a barbarian forced to be a gladiator, a noblewoman, a slave girl, a corrupt politician etc. Some are clearly stock characters, but a few have more personality and depth than can be expected - for the genre.

From time to time there are a few lines about the historical Rome, how it worked, critic on slavery, so the authors did their research.

If one has the urge to find something bad about the story strucuture, it is only that it is conventional as can be: After some time you can tell, who will die, and in some cases even when. Also it follows the concept of the Hero's journey - the heroes receive "gifts" (in an abstract sense, e.g. training) which save them later.
In my opinion, that is exactly what a script like this needs, how it should be.
 
3 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Dawn of the Dead in Ancient Rome

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
September 01, 2011
Interesting!

You're a good writer. I'd like to see you take a crack at Zombies in 1776 or something like that. That would be fun. I wanna see zombies in wigs now.

I like the idea of a Black Watch. Roman secret agents trying to thwart the evil witchcraft of the day. Cool! I like that pitch. But of course that's a different movie. You could definitely write a version of that for $20-$30 million, probably.

For me, this isn't really Zombies vs. Gladiators. You ground your story in reality. You're following the A.S. notes. You spend your first act setting up our hero. You make him seem like a real person, in a real environment. You've given him depth. And your zombie curse is authentic. I like the bit on the ship. Good stuff. But we're spending pages and pages creating an authentic world, and the upshot is that you fail to get the Zombie into the arena to fight a Gladiator in front of 50,000 people.

It's what I call a missed opportunity! What's so frickin' cool in the original is that scene. A zombie is in a cage and then the doors open and the Gladiator has to fight him. I like that scene more than anything. More than elephants. It's iconic. It's why we're here. It's Zombies vs. Gladiators. I feel strongly that we have to have that scene.

But to have that scene you need a lot of set-up to explain why Caesar is putting a frickin' zombie in the arena. You skip all that. You don't even have a Caesar. No Caesar!

And you went with a dog chase instead of an elephant chase.

Your version is pretty much like every zombie film I have ever seen. Zombie outbreak, grab a weapon, fight 'em. So your gladiators grab weapons, and they are in an arena, but it's not the same thing at all. Nobody's cheering. And nobody put the zombie in there on purpose. It's even more like an outbreak movie than the original.

Your screenplay is more credible than the original, but you've lost that feeling of incredible, if that makes sense. It's "Zombies in Ancient Rome" instead of "Zombies vs. Gladiators." I guess that's the danger in a page 1 rewrite. You follow the notes but you lost a really cool, iconic scene. You've added a cool action scene (zombie lion!), but you've lost all the cool action sequences from the original. I wouldn't even call this an action movie. It's a horror movie/historical drama.

And I don't know how much money you've actually saved. What would this cost? $60 million? $80 million? Colosseum ain't cheap. This still would be the most expensive zombie movie ever made. You've added some dramatic elements, but you've really cut back on action set pieces.

I was confused on one major plot point. How do the zombies get to Rome? That one bit guy escapes, but he's in Ostia, right? And all the rest are in quarantine. And yet the zombies are in Rome. How did they get there? And why was the bad guy so sure the zombies would be in Rome?

Anyway, nice work. Definitely an interesting take on it.
 

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