Title: Devil’s Playground
Year released: 2010
Director: Mark McQueen
Cast: Danny Dyer, Craig Fairbrass, Myanna Buring
REVIEW BY SIMON BALL
Just a few years into the future and the N-Gen Corporation has run into a spot of bother. The legal performance enhancer drug it had trailed with 30,000 volunteers has had an awkward side-effect, 29,999 of the test volunteers have turned into raging zombies with a taste for human flesh. London is soon reduced to anarchy as the rampaging hordes put the bite on anyone who moves and by the dubious science of the zombie holocaust the bitten turn into yet more of the walking dead.
Humanity and N-Gen’s only hope is to find the one test subject who was immune to the side-effects, Angela Mills (Myanna Buring) and clone a vaccine from her.
N-Gen Head of Security Cole (Craig Fairbrass) is tasked with finding Angela as she heads out of London to meet up with her, just released on bail for a crime he did not commit, boyfriend and former copper Joe (Danny Dyer). Cole tracks Angela and Joe down and joins them and a few other survivors holed up in a garage as the zombies move in for lunch.
Fortunately Joe and Cole are a bit tasty with guns, claw hammers and lengths of pipe and the survivors are soon on their way back into London to meet up with Angela’s brother, who just happens to be a Met river policeman with a handy helicopter licence. The team cohesiveness breaks down when the members argue over the limited space in the chopper, but that’s soon sorted out by a zombie attack where Joe gets bitten. Turns out that the chopper has been wrecked anyway, but Angela and her brother get to grab a boat and try to make it to the Royal Navy frigate stationed in the Thames (these zombies don’t like water) for picking up survivors, when Joe and Cole (whose already on his last set on anti-zombie bite retro-virals) do the noble thing and make a last stand.
Devil’s Playground is a bit different from your average zombie holocaust, sure the science behind it is nonsense, but the zombies are not the standard issue shuffling corpses, but the new improved fast zombies. What makes the Devil’s Playground’s zombies extra special is that the zombie actors were all free runners, so the scenes of pursuit are pretty spectacular as they clamber over cars and walls to get to their victims (someone really should make a werewolf film with free runners). Acting wise Danny Dyer and Craig Fairbrass are great when they are thumping the living daylights out of the walkers, but hopeless when it comes to displaying any emotion, but hey that’s not what this film is about.