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

I Like Your Bad Guy

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
September 04, 2011
You’ve added a Roman witch doctor, Macrianus, and given him a deformed leg and a near-albino complexion. Cool! I got a Rasputin vibe from him. Macrianus is in cahoots with the Roman general, Sceparnio. I like the names of both of these characters. And I like the palace intrigue. Sceparnio has picked up some Ichor from Africa, which is the fluid of the gods. And it raises the dead. But he also brought back a corpse. Which bites Cassius and turns him into a zombie. This set-up is too long, I think, but the actual idea is very nice.

I think we could use some exposition from Macrianus as to his plan. Is he going to kill Caesar? Who is going to become Caesar? How does the power to raise the dead help in a plot to overthrow Caesar? A little more detail here would have been helpful.

I hate, hate, hate, the name Fabius. I guess because it reminds me of Fabio? I don’t know. It’s a horrible name. You’ve made him a bit more human, less warrior-like. Everybody thinks he should be bigger, I like that bit. You hint at his backstory at the party scene. “I’ve met Macrianus before.”

I very much like the confrontation between Fabius and Macrianus at the party.

We don’t see Cassius become a zombie? That doesn’t work at all. He gets bit on page 7, he’s in pain. And then on page 34, he’s a zombie? Need at least a page or two showing the transformation.

Still not sure of Macrianus’ plan. Does he want a zombie army to overthrow the Roman army? Or does he want a zombie outbreak? Why does he put the zombie into the arena? As soon as he does that, Caesar knows that Macrianus is working with zombies, right? He lets the secret out of the bag. Is Macrianus ready to let the secret out of the bag? His plan seems vague to me right now.

Is Quintus good? Is he part of the conspiracy? Is he just dumb?

Wouldn’t Caesar freak out when he realizes the Macrianus has turned his general into a zombie? Wouldn’t he have him arrested for treason or something?

“Four zombie soldiers enter the arena.” I feel like we need a co-conspirator. Who let the Zombie soldiers into the arena? Who is working with Macrianus?

I think you’ve got a pacing issue. “Behold, the demon of Rome!” is on page 40 in your version, page 27 in the original. You’ve added 13 pages to the first act. Need to cut, cut, cut.

Quintus on page 50: “How could I imagine such a thing as a zombie existed?” But he announced the zombie before the crowd.

Need an introduction to Drusis? Unless I missed it.

Quintus appears to be part of the conspiracy on page 73? I think we should find this out a lot sooner. Suspense is better than surprise. Establish Quintus as a bad guy in the first act, conspiring with Macrianus.

Here’s one thought. What if you combine the characters of Sceparnio and Valerius? Instead of killing him in the first act, you could surprise us by having him be the guy in charge of the garrison. Then the group thinks they are safe, but we know he’s part of the conspiracy.

I feel like the backstory speech from Fabius is clunky on pages 76-79.

“A wonderful what?” I like that.

“If I could read that tablet, I might recognize the toxins in the description and I may be able to formulate the antidote.” This cracks me up.

Octavius has his throat ripped on page 43, and he’s dead. Even if he’s cured, how is he alive?

You kept most of the action scenes, although you lost the cool sewer scene with the zombie rats. Added some cool violent scenes. I like adding the African warriors, and there was some funny scenes as they learned bad words in English. And Macrianus is a fun bad guy. I feel like there are some pacing issues. You need to lose some pages, particularly in the first half. And the cure’s really not working for me at all. Overall this is an interesting rewrite. Good work.
 
3 out of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Better but not yet thrilling

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
September 04, 2011
This draft maintains the basic story, structure, and characters of the original but makes significant changes to the villain, dialogue, and tone.

The Zombies now have a supernatural origin, based on Assyrian magic (but cured by Roman science). There’s a new villain, the sorcerer Macrianus, but Quintus is still in the game as well.

Titus/Fabius has a modified back story, an expansion of the blacksmith origin that focuses on his respect for weapons. Although this explains why he’s such a good fighter, and deepens his character somewhat, I think it makes him only slightly more engaging and that more work can be done in this area.

I felt the changes worked and improved on the original. There aren’t major problems here, but there are some talky scenes that could be trimmed easily enough. Emotionally it still feels flat to me, and the new fun bits aren’t quite fun enough. So it’s better, but it’s not yet “wow!”

This is more gooey and gross than the original, which may make the fanboys happy but may also limit the 4 quad appeal.

The new dialogue adds some jokiness, which is integrated well with the original, keeping the tone consistent.

I liked the cannibal opening. Shocking and vivid.

Pg. 5: Nice creepy scene with the body.

Pg. 6: I like using the zombie directly, rather than the indirect infection via wolf. However, why is nobody reacting to Cassius’s transformation?

Pg. 8: Fabius (in the Titus role) is introduced. He sounds awfully Zen here and his answer to the question seems like a non-sequitor.

9-10: New lines with Lucius aren’t that funny and slow down the story.

Pg. 12: I’m not clear why Fabius is looking forward to spilling blood AFTER he’s free. Just makes him sound bloodthirsty. And this isn’t developed.

12-14: Divination scene has some nice creepy elements, but is a bit long.

Pg. 25: A bit heavy on the exposition.

28-33: The expanded library scene is long and talky. But it does give us an idea of Fabius as an educated man who has an interesting past. However, it seems odd that Macrianus isn’t more surprised about what Fabius knows about him and ask about this. And it turns out later that Macrianus DOES remember Fabius and his father. So is he lying when he pretends not to?

Pg. 49: The brain-scrambling is kinda cool and really disgusting.

Pg. 57: Second floor line repeats seem like overkill.

Pg. 76: We finally get the rest of Fabius’s back story. It’s more detailed than in the original and better integrates with aspects of his character.

82-89: A long, chatty scene. And I don’t buy them stopping to wager when they need to escape the Zombies. Kills the energy and urgency.

Pg. 95: This is a scientific solution to a supernatural curse. That seems too close to the original version and I’m not sure it addresses AS’s concerns

Overall, a solid effort but with room for improvement.

Technical: wrong font, a few grammar and punctuation issues.
 

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