Three years earlier the Ford Brothers had screened the first part of their third world zombie series – the African set The Dead, which proved extremely popular. So as the opening film of FrightFest 2013 The Dead 2: India had a lot to live up to.
The Dead was part zombie horror, part road movie and its sequel follows stylistic suit amping up the action and the spectacle far beyond the first part. It also manages to fix the other failing in The Dead which was the somewhat stale acting of the lead Rob Freeman.
The Dead 2, which is now finally released on DVD, takes over the story with Joseph Millson as American turbine engineer Nicholas Burton who is working on a wind farm in the peaceful and remote Indian countryside when he realises something is very wrong with the local population.
With the zombie infection spreading rapidly from one infected worker coming home from Somalia chaos and panic is taking the entire country over and Nicholas sets out on the long and perilous journey to reunite with his pregnant girlfriend Ishani (Meenu Mishra) who lives on the outskirts of the slums of Mumbai where things are going from bad to worse very quickly.
Meeting young street kid Javed (Anand Goyal) along the way who helps him find the quickest route Nicholas must fight for his life with a three hundred mile journey ahead and flesh eating monsters at all sides in a terrifying trek across India to save his love before it’s too late.
Like all good sequels writing and directing team Howard and Jonathan Ford take all the elements that made The Dead both interesting and engaging and turn up every level with higher stakes to the story, more zombies on the road and bigger action sequences and set pieces along the way.
The effects are excellent and there are plenty of shocks and scares as well as gore and violence to keep all zombie lovers happy. The flip side is the beautiful landscapes and epic vistas which dominate the film firmly proving why India was such a great location for an apocalyptic road movie to follow on from the amazing African locations of The Dead.
Most importantly of all there is a living and breathing emotional center to the undead story made all the more powerful and believable by the performances of the actors.
Action man Millson makes sure to show the fear and desperation Nicholas is going through ever driven forward even at his lowest ebb by his love for his girlfriend and unborn child. His relationship with Javed is touching but never too over sentimental and Anand Goyal does very well for his first film.
Things are not plain sailing for Meenu Mishra’s character either and while Ishani is keeping zombies away outside she must also fight her father, played by Sandip Datta Gupta, inside who is extremely disapproving of her relationship with an American.
Half heart wrenching emotion and half stomach churning gore The Dead 2: India is a great sequel improving and expanding on all the elements of the first film proving that wherever third world country is next on the Ford Brothers hit list for an undead invasion there is most definitely still life in their zombie franchise.
Read our Interview with Dead 2 star Joseph Millson right HERE