Z NationSeries: Z Nation
Episode: Full Metal Zombie (S1.E4)
Director: Michael Robison
Original Air Date: October 3, 2014

Z Nation is interesting in that it keeps getting better and better every episode. We are only four episodes in, but they’ve built these excellent characters that I truly care about. That is proven in this episode when one of the funniest characters is put into a sticky situation. The outcome is always in question, right to the very end, which makes for excellent drama.

Episode four finds our crew in Pennsylvania. They come across another group of outsiders who take their truck. We learn nothing of this new group, but we don’t need to. What we do find out is good enough to make us dislike them. The group gets in touch with Citizen Z – through a drive-thru intercom; I’ll suspend my disbelief long enough to let this go – and he tells them that there is an army base about 200 miles south, in Virginia, where he can see a helicopter. The group decides to head that way, sacrificing those 200 miles south instead of west in hopes of accessing the chopper. When they get there, the base is, of course, zombified, but there are a couple survivors, both of which are total assholes, which puts the group in a bad situation.

I enjoy how the group is in a new city or state in each episode, and won’t mind if this continues through the whole season because it adds variety. The beginning of this episode pays homage to Night of the Living Dead and George A. Romero in general, so I love that. The other big aspect of this episode is learning a bit about 10K’s background. We learn that he showed mercy to his father, and this subtly brings Doc and him closer together, making him feel like more a part of the group.

My favorite actor of the series so far makes a guest appearance as the General of the army base: the legendary horror actor Bill Moseley. While this isn’t Moseley at his best, it’s always fun seeing him on screen, and I love his role here. There is a moment with him toward the end of the episode, though, that has some of the worst CGI I’ve seen in the show yet, and that includes the zombie baby. I can easily forgive that, though, because it was trying to make a fun moment.

In the end, this episode doesn’t push the story forward much at all, but Doc’s acting chops are put on display, and he’s a ton of fun to watch. They may be 200 miles further from their destination, but it’s one of my favorite episodes yet because of the Moseley cameo, the humor of Citizen Z, and Doc’s work. There are some great kills in this one as well, which is always fun to see.

three_and_a_half_stars

Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions

Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.