Steve Nile’s Remains (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
August 7, 2012 by Michelle Tymon
If you are a zombie film fan and can’t get enough of mindless, violence-filled zombie flicks, Steve Nile’s “Remains” delivers!
Images courtesy of © 2012 Synthetic International Inc. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Steve Nile’s Remains
TELEFILM RELEASE: 2011
DURATION: 89 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio), English DTS-HD Master Audio
COMPANY: SHOUT! FACTORY
RATED: Not Rated
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Directed by Colin Theys
Screenplay by John Doolan
Based on the Graphic Novel and Original Story by Steve Niles
Produced by Andrew Gernhard, Zack O’Brien
Executive Producer as Ted Adams, Bonnie Farley-Lucas, Richard J. Lucas, Steve Niles, Shane O’Brien, Justin Smith, Thomas P. Vitale
Music by Matthew Llewellyn, Sara Schachner
Cinematography by Adrian Correia
Production Design by Melanie Gunn
Miko Hughes as Jensen
Lance Reddick as Ramsey
Grant Bowler as Tom
Tawny Cypress as Cindy
Anthony Marks as Victor
Evalena Marie as Tori
Greg Nutcher as Paul
David Gere as Vitale
Bobby Rice as O’Brien
Jessica Alexandra Green as Blake
Terence Schappert as Sheehan
Kevin Shea as Faherty
Cristina Santiago as Ruby
Based on the highly acclaimed IDW Publishing graphic novel written by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Steve Niles’ REMAINS is set in a chilling postapocalyptic Reno, Nevada, and follows the survivors of a bizarre accident that reduced most of the world’s population to zombies. The group takes refuge in a vacant casino and fights a losing battle against the undead, who grow steadily stronger, smarter and more aggressive by the minute. The movie stars Grant Bowler (Killer Elite, True Blood), Lance Reddick (Fringe, Lost, The Wire), Miko Hughes (Pet Sematary), Evalena Marie (Are We There Yet?), Tawny Cypress (Rescue Me, Heroes) and Anthony Marks.
“Steve Niles’ Remains” is based off the graphic novel of the same name. A failed nuclear experiment occurs on the ironically named “Peace Day”, and leaves the residents of Reno, and probably everywhere else, dead or zombified. The few that haven’t turned, are left scrambling for their lives and leaves us with our primary cast. Our main cast consists of an unconventional group of people forced to try to tolerate each other long enough to try and survive the zombie apocalypse.
You first meet Tom and Tori. Tom (Grant Bowler), is a blackjack dealer and Tori is a waitress at a casino. The reason they were able to escape the blast when it happened was because they had snuck down to the basement to get to know each other a little better. They are trapped down there for a while because the power goes out and they have no idea what happened to the world outside. Eventually, they are able to get out and are greeted by a zombie in the casino. They’re able to take care of it relatively quickly and then run into Jensen, who shows them what’s going on outside through security cameras. Jensen (Miko Hughes) also works at the casino in the unpopular magic show. They are somewhat safe inside the casino, as most of the zombies seem to be outside. Lastly, they help a man named Victor (Anthony Marks), who was trapped in the madness outside and somehow survived. This would round up our main group of survivors. They spend the next few days trying to survive against impending doom.
At one point of the movie, another group of survivors, Ramsey (Lance Reddick) and his men come in and save Tom and Tori from some zombies. He and his group of men have been traveling through the country killing off zombies wherever they go. It’s relatively unclear if they are actually friends or enemies, and tensions grow as everyone is divided on who can be trusted or not. But in the end, they all have the same goal in mind: survive the zombies and get out of Reno.
“Steve Nile’s Remains” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio). For the most part, I thought the video looked great. The colors were usually quite clean and vibrant and the details were clear so you could see all of the gory details throughout the movie. Even tiny details such as the stubbles on Tom’s face was plainly visible. The colors seemed accurate throughout the film; no one ended up with weird or faded facial colors and the details of the zombies such as their bright, white eyes were visible in great detail. There were no major problems that I could see. I didn’t notice any banding or artifacts throughout the film.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Steve Nile’s Remains” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. The good news is that the film is lossless, the bad news is that it is a lossless front channel track. For a film with this much action, you would hope to hear a 5.1 lossless soundtrack but the front channels are still good. For the most part, the dialogue audio and the background music audio seemed pretty balanced. Like most other horror films, they use the sudden boost in sound at the right moments to scare the audience.
Subtitles are not included.
The special features are minimal, consisting of various 60 second spots, and then a short 3-part prequel, “Road to Reno”, so if you’re like me who loves getting a lot of behind the scenes featurettes, you may be disappointed. However, the prequel and bloopers were a nice addition. The prequel gives the viewers another view as to the catastrophe that hit that day, causing the zombie apocalypse.
“Steve Nile’s Remains” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Producer Andrew Gernhard, Director Colin Theys, Screenwriter John Doolan, and Makeup Supervisor Ben Chester. This feature can be found under “Audio Setup” on the menu.
- Behind the Scenes TV Spots – Featuring interviews with the cast and crew of “Remains”. TV Spots included are: 60 Second Spot (1:02), Characters 30 Second Spot (0:32) and Zombies 30 Second Spot (0:32).
- Blooper Reel – (4:04) Featuring outtakes from “Remains”.
- Chiller TV Spots – Featuring the following TV spots: Comic Book 30 Second Spot (0:32), Premiere 30 Second Spots (1:03) and Teaser 30 Second Spots (1:02).
- Comicon Teaser – (1:03)
- Prequel Short – Road to Reno – Feature three mini episode prequels to “Remains” (each are around four minutes in duration).
“Steve Nile’s Remains” comes with a slipcover case.
If you’re looking for an amazing, character driven movie with an amazing plot, you probably won’t find it here. However, if you’re looking for a mindless, violent, gorefest with an unconventional group of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, then you’ll find what you’re looking for in this film. Though this movie doesn’t really offer anything different or new in the zombie movie genre (Oh, there was one thing I don’t think I’ve seen in other zombie movies before that was in this movie: apparently zombies sleep) , it’s definitely not bad. It’s also not the best. This movie is a made for TV movie and probably should be expected as such. The gore and special effects aren’t the best (there’s a scene where a truck flips over that was rather comical), but it’s what you can expect from a lower budget film. If you watch the film with that in mind, it’s somewhat enjoyable. Pretty much, it has everything a zombie movie needs: zombies, killing, guns, blood, and a lot of running away. It doesn’t exactly go to a B movie, but at its best, I’d have to say the film was about average, even for its genre.
Besides the plot being thin, the characters may be the weakest part of the whole movie. It’s hard to feel any connection with any of the characters, especially enough for you to hope they survive until the end of the movie. With some characters, it was probably more satisfying if they didn’t make it through the movie. There’s a lot of yelling between Tom and Tori and honestly, the acting probably wasn’t the best. Actually, overall, there’s a lot of yelling in this movie, to the point that I found it rather comical. In a way, I guess the situation may have been realistic. You get stuck trying to survive a zombie apocalypse with a whole bunch of people you don’t know and annoy you. You probably will try to fend for yourself rather than try to help each other. They do help each other in the beginning, but as the film goes on, their annoyance for one another grow and is probably as dangerous as the zombies outside.
One thing that did interest me about the cast was the fact that Miko Hughes was in the movie, since I hadn’t seen him in anything since he was a child. It was interesting to see him all grown up. In my opinion, he also played one of the only somewhat likeable characters in the whole movie. Another somewhat likeable character in the movie was Cindy (Tawny Cypress), who plays Ramsey’s daughter and she plays the only other female character of any importance, which causes somewhat of a rivalry between her and Tori. Cindy, who means well and is genuinely trying to help people and Tori, who doesn’t have many redeeming qualities but seems to be trying to help in her own way. Their contrasting relationships with Tom may be the closest thing of interest dealing with character interaction (other than yelling at each other) and development in the movie.
Definitely not a blockbuster hit that anyone will enjoy, but if you’re a fan of zombie survival movies, you’ll probably enjoy this movie. It’s not high budget and as I said, not much new is offered in regards to the zombie movie genre. If you have no interest in zombie movies, though, you may want to skip this film. There’s very little plot and no character development, really. If you’re looking for a very scary movie, you probably won’t find this to be the one you’re looking for either. Despite the usual turn-up-the-sound-effects-to-make-the-audience-jump moments, I didn’t find myself scared or startled, but I usually don’t find zombie movies scary so that may just be me. The movie is quite violent though. People killing zombies, zombies killing people, people killing people and even zombies killing zombies. So if you just want another mindless, violence-filled zombie flick, “Remains” will deliver.
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