It was two months ago that we got our first glimpse at Dave Bautista in Army of the Dead. That teaser trailer promised big violence and mayhem in Las Vegas. This is going to be a zombie movie from director and writer Zack Snyder where Netflix clearly let him have all the budget he wanted. And that creator clearly knows how to use a budget. Now, we’re getting a much better look, and oh boy, you’ll want to watch it more than once so you can freeze-frame on some of the fun here.
Let’s take a closer look at the zombie tiger. Zack Snyder’s special effects team demands it.
“What is this?” one of the thieves off-screen asks, as we see the big cat jump up on a vehicle. “It’s a goddamn zombie tiger.” Because it is! It’s a big cat zombie. One of the other characters says, “That’s crossing the line,” but 100%, that’s the line I’m looking for in a Zack Snyder zombie movie. Dave Bautista is here. We’re in Vegas. Let’s bring on the big cat zombies.
Do you think that what we’re seeing in the trailer is all we’re going to see of the big cat zombie? Just this brief moment of “Wow, zombie cat”? Or do we expect this zombie cat to do some attacking and really get into the story? Here’s to hoping we have multiple scenes where the zombie cat has its way. Why make a horror movie in Las Vegas if you’re not going to go big?
That must have been the thinking when they brought out the zombie Elvis impersonator.
This trailer opened up with more focus on Dave Bautista’s character for the first half before we broke into zombie tigers and Las Vegas mayhem, so let’s circle back to that for a moment. In Army of the Dead, Bautista plays a zombie war hero. We’re in a world where zombies have been around for a while and they’re normal enough, though a serious threat that people are living with. Later in the trailer, we see the serious numbers of the crowd of zombies.
In a lot of zombie movies, the end of the normal world has only just happened. And when it did, society shut down. So robbery wouldn’t really have much weight, since money means nothing. But in this movie? It’s a heist! Our seasoned zombie war hero in Dave Bautista is putting together a heist in Las Vegas where he and his crew need to face an army of the undead. Moreover, the zombies are smart. They’re not slow-moving, easy targets. He’s facing down a whole intelligent Alpha zombie society that has taken over Las Vegas, where he needs to score his big win.
In the trailer, as Dave Bautista and team roll into Las Vegas and discover things are worse than they knew before arrival, the Kenny Rogers song The Gambler begins to play. The song suggests that you should know when to fold ’em. As in, you should know when to pack up and get on out of there. But apparently, Bautista’s character decides the gamble is worth it, as so many seem to do when they’re in Las Vegas. Big winnings are on the other side. Of course, in this movie, the risk isn’t just going broke. It’s being eaten by zombie tigers. But, you know. The temptations of Las Vegas winnings get the best of us.
Heist movie. Zombie tigers. Las Vegas. This movie could not get more fabulous in premise, and the trailer really promises a lot of fun.
In recent years, Zack Snyder has worked on DC films and movies like 300, which we know him better for. However, in 2004, he directed Dawn of the Dead. That zombie film was written by the famous horror scriptwriter George A. Romero and James Gunn, who we now know for Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming The Suicide Squad. Army of the Dead will be a return to the zombie genre for Zack Snyder, this time with Dave Bautista, a big budget, and a script he co-wrote with Shay Hatten.
You’ll be able to see Army of the Dead in theaters on May 14th and one week later on Netflix May 21st.