Edinburgh International Film Festival

Evil In The Time of Heroes (2009)

Starring: Billy Zane, Andreas Kontopoulos, Argyris Thanassoulas, Meletis Georgiadis, Ionna Pappa, Pepi Moschovakou, Apostlis Totsikas

Directed by: Yorgos Noussias

Rating: 1 2 3

Billy Zane in Evil In The Time of Heroes

I've never seen a Greek film before, let alone a Greek zombie film. But then again there are only two in existence: this one and its prequel, Evil, which wasn't released in this country.  

To be honest, I'm probably not the best person to review this film either, and not just due to my unfamiliarity with Greek cinema. Not only am I suffering ever so slightly from zombie fatigue, I'm also suffering from general fatigue, so, um, I kinda zizzed a few times during the movie. Which is unfair really, as director Yorgos Noussias has tried hard to do something different with a thoroughly over-populated genre.

I've certainly never seen a zombie flick before that links the undead curse with the Ancient World – in this case Greece (of course), with flashbacks to well-oiled bargain basement 300 extras flailing away with swords and shields. Result!

Then there's the mysterious black-clad time travelling monk, played by Billy Zane (clearly assuming that no-one in the English speaking world will ever see the film). But to do him credit he spouts Ancient Greek like Sophocles, albeit with an American accent, apparently. His role appears to be to help out our rag-tag bunch of survivors defeat the zombie hordes. With a box and a hole in the ground. Or something. As I said, I did nod off a couple of times.

But forget the ropey plot, there are some classic moments in this cheap and cheerful, blood drenched zombie flick: the massacre in the football field, for example, is well worth staying awake for. You won't give a damn who lives or dies but as long as the blood keeps flowing, who cares? So grab some beers and some nice pink taramasalata and enjoy a zom-com that comes with a sword and sandal twist.

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