Crackle recently released a new trailer for the upcoming digital movie release, Dead Rising: Watchtower. The film is based on the zombie action video game series of the same name, created by Capcom. The film is representative of the new-media push of the 21st century and is being produced by Sony’s streaming media service, Crackle. The trailer does not look like anything special. however, it does appear to be a bloody, over-the-top zombie B-movie. So, for fans of that type of material, Dead Rising: Watchtower could have a winning formula.
The film does have some notable and familiar faces. Most notably, Dennis Haysbert, the star of such tremendous shows as 24 and numerous films, will play the role of a military general. Comedian and actor Rob Riggle is playing Frank West, the protagonist of previous installments of the Dead Rising franchise. The plot appears to be fairly faithful to the games. A group of survivors are stuck in a zombie quarantine zone and have to fight to get out of it. It appears that Frank West’s scenes will mostly be played up for goofy humor. However, I am a bit disappointed that Frank West appears to be only a background supporting character, rather than the lead, for the game.
Jesse Metcalfe, as a reporter, is the main character. Metcalfe and some other survivors are stuck in a city overrun with the living dead. An exciting aspect involves the game’s versions of crazy weapons used to kill zombies. The violence and gore looks like it will be copious and over the top. However, for a film based on Dead Rising, that might be the best way to go. The game seems to be low budget, but it probably should look that way. Dead Rising is somewhat of an homage to zombie horror cinema and even zombie B-movies, so Dead Rising: Watchtower might be consistent in that regard. One cannot always expect every film adaptation to be as sublime as Marvel’s The Avengers. That idea would simply be unrealistic. Plus, this is not a big budget theatrical release. It is a lower budget digital release, so it should not be judged with the same standards as Street Fighter: The Movie.
Ultimately, I am not expecting the film to win any awards. However, if it delivers a large-scale zombie extravaganza, it might be worth a single viewing at least–especially if it is available for free on Crackle. Dead Rising: Watchtower is due out later this year for Sony’s Crackle service.