Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lifeless The Series

Lifeless The Series is an independent miniseries that was produced as sort of pilot episode with the hopes that it would get picked up by a larger distribution company of some sort. It didn't pan out, which I feel is too bad since the people who made it were very resourceful, but it was also inevitable, since the series was pretty flawed.
Now, this was a miniseries, so it's only three episodes long, with each episode running between 15 and 20 minutes each. (They used to be available to watch on but they have since been taken down.)
I say that this series was flawed because... well, it was.

It had several major problems. First off, the acting is sub-par. It's not necessarily terrible, but it's obvious that the actors were not exactly of the highest caliber and the delivery of their lines is rather... well, no pun intended... lifeless. Though I do have to admit that their body language wasn't that bad. Next, the dialog is at times cliched. I mean, really, really cliched. To the point where I almost expected them to hang lampshades on how cliched the dialog was. It just didn't feel natural. Finally, I don't think we get to see enough of the characters to care about them the way we should.Now the series took a page out of the LOST book and in each episode we follow one of the survivors in flashbacks and see how they survived the initial outbreak and learn more about them. I liked it, it was done well, but with only three episodes we don't get to know enough of them well enough to really care about the entire group.
 Now, despite all of these flaws, I liked this series. Like I said, the producers were very resourceful. They were able to create a realistic post-apocalyptic city by understanding the locale. They filmed in Salt Lake City, Utah on Easter Sunday. They were able to get permits pretty easily to block off downtown SLC since the large Mormon population there is largely inactive on Sundays and doubly so on Easter Sunday, so they had an entire day to film on the streets without having to worry about upsetting anyone about the detours. Very clever, if you ask me. They also had a lot of good ideas in the series and it's obvious that they understand the purpose of a zombie apocalypse, that it's not just about blood and gore, but about human interactions and survival. Also despite the poor dialog and acting, the direction and editing was very good. This series really knows how to create a good sense of tension and suspense, and it really knows how to end on a cliffhanger which leaves you wanting more. Unfortunately, the third episode ends on a cliffhanger that... well, I don't want to spoil it, but it's a really big cliffhanger. It leaves the whole group in a precarious position where they aren't dead, but since no new episodes will ever be produced, it's easy to say that they're all probably going to die, it's more than a little bit of a downer ending if you choose to see it that way.

Bottom Line: I liked it despite its flaws, and if you need a zombie apocalypse fix while waiting for the next season of AMC's The Walking Dead, check it out. Sure, the full run is gone, but you can still check out the first five minutes (and a few other clips) on Vimeo right here.

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