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When red-eyed zombies walked the earth

Nickey Hernandez

I’ve always figured the veggie-brained do-gooders at PETA would ruin the world as they worked to destroy McDonalds and the cosmetic industry.Now my premonition has come to life in the highly entertaining zombie flick, “28 Days Later.”The horror begins when animal rights clowns break into a lab where British scientists have studied the nature of rage. To understand uncontrollable violence, the eggheads infected chimps with a virus that turns cuddly primates into red-eyed crazies that live to kill.Outraged by the cruel experiments, PETA punks trash the lab and unwittingly unleash pure evil upon the United Kingdom. In just 28 days, Jolly Old England reverts back to the Middle Ages. There are bloody bodies in the streets, corpses in every church and flesh-craving zombies on the loose. These modern zombies don’t lurch about like the brainless undead of past eras. Instead, these things charge at you like Bill Romanowski juiced on a cocktail of crank and insecticide. They spit blood, scream, and unleash more rage than The Hulk could produce in a lifetime.By month’s end, England is a ghost island. There’s no Queen, no Fleet Street, no pubs, no Guinness. What’s left is a dark, scary land meant to test Darwin’s theory of survival and adaptation. Such is the nightmare that Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakens to after he comes out of a coma following a bicycle accident. Jim stumbles through the deserted landscape of London, then runs for his life when a group of raging crazies go after him like riding hounds on a bleeding fox.Momentary salvation comes courtesy of a hard-bodied babe named Selina (Naomie Harris). Talk all you want about the girl-power message of “Charlie’s Angels,” but I’ll take Selina and her yard-long hatchet any day of the week. This is a woman of power, substance and steel will.”If someone is infected, you have 10 to 20 seconds to kill them,” the warrior alpha bitch explains, making it very clear that she won’t let stragglers, bleeding hearts or fools hinder her survival instincts. “Plans are pointless, staying alive is as good as it gets.”Things get a little better when Jim and Selina run across a cab driver and his daughter. The four mount up and flee London in hopes of finding a military outpost that may or may not exist.Unfortunately, the military post is not all the London survivors had hoped it would be. Though fully armed and able to handle nightly attacks by the red-eyed “Infected,” the Army grunts have devolved.Henry West (Christopher Eccleston) lords over the outpost and its remaining nine soldiers. Military discipline no long holds any meaning for this crew. They know the world is over. Now they’re just as savage as the virus-crazed zombies they blow up each night. “28 Days Later,” is a nightmare, wrapped in a terror, surrounded by a scream. It’s also proof that directors don’t need cartoons, special effects or overpriced Hollywood stars to craft a winner.Until next time, Mr. Hernandez has left the theater in search of an alpha female who can shoot straight.Nickey Hernandez is a former private investigator, who loves meat, wears fur and always hugs trees with big knotholes.


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