Another zombie movie from The Asylum, and another one directed by Nick Lyons (who also gave viewers the poor, but slightly better than this, Zombie Apocalypse), Rise Of The Zombies features the usual selection of jobbing actors trying to invest their paper-thin characters with something, anything, to make the movie more watchable as it repeats the same cycle for 90 minutes until a weak, weak ending.
Things start off promising. Survivors of the zombie outbreak are holed up in Alcatraz. There's potential here, but it's soon squandered. Zombies still get in and the main characters all make stupid decision after stupid decision, culminating in the moment when they set off from the island in search of safety elsewhere. Because that's a better decision than killing the zombies that managed to get in and reinforcing the huge stronghold that is Alcatraz. Zombies munch on folks, people bicker, zombies munch on folks, people bicker, repeat ad nauseum. Oh, there's also LeVar Burton, stuck with having to play possibly the stupidest doctor that I've ever seen in any zombie movie. Ever. He is determined to find a cure that will save the one he loves.
There are one or two decent moments here, with one scene showing how easy it is for zombies to climb up the Golden Gate bridge being as enjoyable as it is ridiculously stupid, but there's no reason to ever seek this film out beyond stumbling across it accidentally on the TV schedules. Lyons isn't the worst director, but writers Keith Allan and Delondra Williams didn't make his job any easier by churning out such a laughable and lame script.
The cast includes Mariel Hemingway, Danny Trejo (currently tied with Ving Rhames in the "pay me and I'll turn up for anything" category), Ethan Suplee, the aforementioned Burton, French Stewart, and Chad Lindberg. The rest of the cast is made up of the usual supporting players for The Asylum AKA people who can rack up a long list of credits on IMDb thanks to their portrayal of "screaming zombie victim #8". Hey, nothing against that, a job is a job, but all I'm emphasising is that the rest of the cast features nobody truly memorable. There are one or two other main characters, but the cast can't do enough to overcome the weak script. Without having any recognition factor they just blur together into one featureless crowd.
Rise Of The Zombies isn't good, in case you didn't gather that already. Some of the effects are okay, but a lot of the film just feels rushed and/or lazy. Critics of The Asylum may rush to tell me that ALL of their films feel that way, but I'd disagree. Sometimes they do appear to be trying. Just not on this occasion.