Armed militiamen prove just as terrifying and lethal as zombies in “Anger of the Dead,” the feature debut of writer-director Francesco Picone. Although it primarily concerns the plight of a very pregnant zombie apocalypse survivor, Alice (Roberta Sparta), attempting to make her way to safety, the film spends much of its running time on a tangential subplot involving a mute woman (Désirée Giorgetti) who suffers torture and rape at the hands of men wearing fatigues and rifles.
Picone subjects every female character to unspeakable cruelty as shortcuts to elicit emotional responses in lieu of character development. Indeed, womanhood is constantly under siege as females are consumed both literally and figuratively.
Not one but two little girls get devoured alive, and one of their mothers lives to blame herself. Motherhood is alternately depicted as an inconvenience and a liability; and Alice’s pregnancy doesn’t deter Capt. Sean Rooker (Aaron Stielstra) from beating her. The gentlemen who do have the decency to assist the women meet the same fate.
Coming off like a hodgepodge of rejected spec scripts for “The Walking Dead,” “Anger of the Dead” reveals particularly misogynistic and misanthropic filmmaking.
‘Anger of the Dead’
No MPAA rating
Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes
Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood. Also on VOD