“Army of the Dead” — can Zack Snyder save American zombie cinema?

Army Of The Dead dir. Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead promises zombie-fuelled mayhem but can it restore order?

Army of the Dead is the forthcoming film from divisive American filmmaker Zack Snyder. The film will follow a group of mercenaries as they enter a zombie-infested Las Vegas in hopes of pulling off the ultimate heist. It sure sounds like a dynamite concept, and as you may remember, Snyder already has experience in the sub-genre.

Way back in 2004, he directed Dawn of the Dead, a remake of George A. Romero's 1978 classic of the same name. It's actually rather well regarded by audiences, currently boasting an impressive audience score of 7.3 on IMDb. This isn't exactly the case for his more recent output.

As you'll be well aware, the filmmaker is best known for his work within the superhero genre. He directed Watchmen in 2009 before ambitiously kickstarting the DCEU with the 2013 mega-budget blockbuster, Man of SteelIt was enough of a success to warrant a follow-up effort, although looking back, some fans will say that they were swept up in the hype on initial release, re-evaluating it later in its lifespan. Nevertheless, hopes were unbelievably high for 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which remains the director's most divisive work, even when including its next instalment, the woeful Justice League

Unfortunately, fans are still desperate for a Justice League Snyder-cut, which they believe should be far superior to the theatrical cut; admittedly, the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice extended cut was the better version. It seems that Snyder's films can sometimes feel suffocated under the pressures of studio meddling. Will this be the same for Army of the Dead?

According to Bloody Disgusting, the director told The Hollywood Reporter that he's confident in the project: “There are no handcuffs on me at all with this one,” he says, proudly. “It will be the most kick-ass, self-aware — but not in a wink-to-the-camera way — balls-to-the-wall zombie freakshow that anyone has ever seen.” He's certainly selling it, and to be honest, it does sound like the sort of frenzied action extravaganza that Snyder should be helming following his lengthy time working on DC properties. The American zombie film has been in trouble recently, and there aren't many notable hits; most great recent sub-genre efforts have been from Kore and Japan. 

Army of the Dead will star Dave Bautista (Blade Runner 2049), Adam Celentano (Perfect Citizens) and many more. It doesn't have a release date as of yet, but it's likely that Netflix - the distributors - will announce one soon. Hopefully, it proves to be a triumphant return for Snyder in wake of his brief absence. If not, then zombie cinema will be left in the capable hands of Jim Jarmusch and his upcoming horror-comedy, The Dead Don't Die. So, it's definitely looking good. 

In other news, Jordan Peele explains the ending of Us.

Have something to tell us about this article?