Just Another Bad Movie – Severed: Forest of the Dead

By Max


Severed: Forest of the Dead is a 2005 film directed by Carl Bessai, starring Paul Campbell, Sarah Lind, Julian Christopher, and JR Bourne. The films plot revolves around a group of loggers and environmental activists in a forest that the company the loggers are working for have been testing a growth hormone on. The growth hormone causes the trees to grow at a much faster rate with the side effect of turning people into zombies if the sap enters the bloodstream.

I go into a movie like this hoping that maybe, just maybe I’ll see something new, a tweak on the old pattern, but inevitably I find that if I’ve seen one, I’ve seen them all. Severed is no different. On reading the description it tries to go outside the box. Genetically altered trees anyone? In the end I realize that the only thing unique about the film is the reason the zombies came about and for me the reason really doesn’t matter. Knowing why a zombie is a zombie isn’t going to stop it from eating off my face.

The film also spend too much time talking about the crisis, from the survivors hatching plans, to the company’s offices, and not actually having zombies eating faces. That has to be a huge complaint for me. It’s a zombie movie, right? Where are the zombies? They’re there, just too few and far between.

As far as the zombies go, the look is bottom tier zombie fare. It’s not a high budget film, but I’ve seen lower budgets with better make up effect. The extent of the look seems to be some greenish yellow face paint, maybe some black to show veins and done. I could do better with some Halloween makeup. I want ripped flesh and gore. Oh the gore! A handful of scenes with a decent amount, but half the blood looked like it was made using strawberry jelly.

The only thing I don’t have a major complaint for is the acting. I suppose that’s a rather unique situation. I’ve watched a lot of b movies and just plain bad movies and the acting is typically not the best thing about the film. So as movies go Severed throws a loop by being a bad movie with good acting.

There really is more to complain about in this movie than praise it for. For instance about two thirds into the film it took a big shift and the feel of the movie really changed. The core group of survivors, or rather the ones that remained catch up to large group of loggers who have managed to keep their rag tag group from falling apart completely. This new group is the stereotypical group of survivors who happen to be the sadists of humanity when the shit hits the fan. It’s an easy way to eat up screen time without doing anything to add to the plot and not have to worry about elaborate zombie attacks. It doesn’t work. The trope is overused and in this film it really felt out of place.

And of course, the character Tyler, he’s the brooding son of the logging company’s chairman. I’m tired of brooding characters. I understand that in a situation such as Severed presents makes one sad, possibly depressed, but Tyler’s mood didn’t change when he encountered the zombies, hell he actually seemed less broody the longer the movie went on. Also he’s the only character that got a complete work up. We knew more about him than any of the other characters. The other characters were barely touched. It was unnecessary and I would’ve liked to know more about the other characters as well.

If you want the movie to be a character driven story that has a complete plot, don’t half ass it. The movie seemed to be attempting to create a more dramatic piece but they failed miserably. They created a unique plot point in how the zombies were created, they had more scenes without zombies than with, and they tried to develop characters. I can see the possibility of a zombie drama working, it would be difficult, but this movie doesn’t pull it off.

Overall the movie isn’t the worst thing ever put to film, I’ve seen many films that made me want to scoop my eyeballs out, this wasn’t one of them. It doesn’t stand out and doesn’t really scream recommend me. I wouldn’t buy it and I’d tell my friends to avoid it. The film doesn’t present what I want out of a zombie film.

One Response to “Just Another Bad Movie – Severed: Forest of the Dead”
  1. Mildred says:

    Hey, that post leaves me feeling fohliso. Kudos to you!

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