Directed by Ellory Elkayem [Other horror films: They Nest (2000), Eight Legged Freaks (2002), Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave (2005)]
One of two Return of the Living Dead sequels from 2005 (the other being Rave to the Grave), Necropolis isn’t nearly as fun as I recall it being. Not that it’s as painfully terrible as the third movie was, but it was plenty cringy toward the end, and it was far from a memorably okay movie.
When I was a kid, though, I remember this being a blast. I only saw it once, but I do recall enjoying a decent amount of this. I entirely forget about the terrible uber-soldier zombie things at the end, which is probably good, because if I remembered that before watching this one again, I would have approached this with much more trepidation. As it is, nostalgia didn’t help much at all, and while I thought some portions were okay (in an early The Perfect Score-type way), Necropolis was pretty shabby.
Peter Coyote, as the antagonist, was pretty damn weak. So were most others, though, so he fits in fine. Amusingly, there’s something like seven different teen characters (eight if you count main character Julian’s younger brother Jake, played by Alexandru Geoana), and not many are memorable. Sure, Aimee-Lynn Chadwick is cute (she wears glasses, guys – how could anyone think otherwise?), Elvin Dandel had a little character (and Dandel also appeared in Headless Horseman and Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud), and John Keefe occasionally had an expressive face, but there’s not a hell of a lot going on with the cast.
Though much in the same vein as Chadwick, there are two other reasonably attractive actresses, being Diana Munteanu (“Hey, big boy”) and Jana Kramer. Kramer isn’t a humongous name; aside from being a character in One Tree Hill (which isn’t a show I’m not remotely familiar with), I’ve not seen her in anything. She is, however, a country singer, and while I’m not personally a big modern-day country fan, I do quite enjoy her song “I Got the Boy.” It’s sort of amusing to see that ten years before that song, she was in a movie of this type of quality.
I do love that quality motorbiking montage, though – it seems so incredibly dated (much like that beautiful hacking scene, which is slightly only more updated than the Jurassic Park hacking sequence). Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of this (especially around the break-in scene) reminded me of The Perfect Score, which came out a year earlier, and is a much more enjoyable film, especially given that this movie has an uber-soldier zombie much like the third movie had, which is always a questionable choice.
When I was a kid, Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis had the same type of charm possessed by Fido, and I don’t know exactly why I thought that. After seeing it again, it’s nowhere near good, and Fido is by all means a better film. The zombies here were weak, as was the story, and it didn’t have an emotional punch like you’d hope (even with a somewhat surprising death of a younger character). I hated the third film more (deal with it, brahs), but this is still a pretty underwhelming movie.