Uli Lommel is to Uwe Boll what Michael Bay is to Stanley Kubrick. That isn’t to say that Uwe Boll is any kind of cinematic master: he is quite incompetent, without any doubt. However, Uli Lommel exists on an entirely different plane below Boll. Just like no one considers Michael Bay a comparable filmmaker to Kubrick, Lommel’s “films” aren’t even to be considered in the same class as lowly Boll works like House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark.
Zombie Nation is an astonishing testament to the human capacity for failure. I have previously cited Birdemic as an example of a movie that failed in every aspect of filmmaking, but at least Birdemic didn’t mess up any makeup. If there is anything that is absolutely essential for a zombie movie, it is convincing makeup and practical effects. Zombie Nation does not have them.
I could type pages upon pages about how poorly done this movie is. The poorly utilized warehouse that is used for every set, the abysmal acting, the disappearing characters and storylines, the bad editing, the shitty effects, the inappropriate and baffling soundtrack, the non-ending, the stupid zombie rules…there is just too much to burn through. I could spend days talking about this movie, but I want nothing more in this world than to forget about it.
That said, if you are interested in bad movies and how bad they can be, Zombie Nation is a must watch. I challenge you to find things in the movie that would be passable in any genuinely respectable film. If you are just curious as to the extent of the incompetence in this movie, check out the more in-depth review by Obscurus Lupa. She hits the highlights of the movie, and you don’t have to sit through the entirety of the movie if you go down that route.
I recently came across a bargain bin box set of Uli Lommel movies (this was not included), and all of the films come with a commentary track done by Lommel himself. I’m actually really curious to listen through a couple of these, because I am curious as to how this guy ticks. Just from seeing this movie and knowing his reputation, I am curious if he thinks there is some sort of method to his “art”, or if he has the same hatred for critics that Uwe Boll does. I’m curious if he is the sort of filmmaker who insists that all of his films are masterpieces without flaws, because that seems pretty indefensible when you are producing things like Zombie Nation.
In conclusion, I can only recommend this one to really dedicated bad movie fans. The only way to approach it is from the perspective of a dissection, or you are just going to have a miserable experience. I can’t imagine what casual viewers thought if they rented / bought this movie based on the cover art. If you aren’t prepared for this movie, it is going to be incredibly jarring. I wouldn’t spring this on a group of friends, anyway.