Saturday, October 17, 2020

Peninsula - Train To Busan 2

Any long time follower of the Cave of Cool knows that when it comes to zombie stories these days I prefer mine to come from South Korea. The Korean Medieval series KINGDOM was fantastic as was the first TRAIN TO BUSAN film. In South Korean zombie films, the madness begins quickly and after that is all out fast zombie madness. And all out fast zombie madness is the very best kind of fast zombie madness. 

This time a fast spreading infection shuts down South Korea and attacks a refugee ship after only ONE day. The same day the first film takes place during. From there it's a race for a group of characters to find sanctuary in North Korea. Like the first film it's pretty wrenching and you can't get attached to anyone for very long because as soon as you do you'll regret it. 

After the entire South Korea peninsula is shut down, the remaining citizens are left to create a world for themselves under constant zombie menace. When the story picks up, Korea has been under World quarantine for four years. The survivors exist in the kind of dystopian hell you would expect to find if such an event really occurred. A world of gangs and traders and blood is the result. A world where only the strongest survive.


A scheme to recover a truck containing 20 million dollars sends four people working for a gangster back into zombie infested South Korea to retrieve the truck. A half day's job they said. Why are THEY always wrong?

Most of the action has to take part at night because at night these fast zombies are practically blind and follow sound and bright lights and therefor can be guided away. It's also easier to create special effects when it is dark and cover any background detail the filmmakers want to remove.

We meet two little girls with unique talents for survival and their family who are looking for a way out of the zombie zone. We also discover a group of wild survivors doing it Mad Max style. Mad Max style survivors always leads to some kind of gladiatorial games. At least that is what every other dystopian movie had taught me. Here, it's no different.

Parts of the movie play like a zombie killing/driving game where you get points for every zombie you hit with your four wheel drive Mom van. Those scenes are a lot of fun. Much of the film is like one giant zombie killing chase game. Even here the Mad Max formula is brought to bare.

It's hard not to get invested in the lives of characters in peril especially when it's a subtitled movie. When you are not reading dialogue you are watching character faces for understanding. You want them all to live but you know that is impossible in a movie like this. That is what makes them so fun.

I know they won't kill off the two little girls because that would be barbaric but everyone else, including our hero are fair game and zombie bait. The movie spends it's first half building up our crew only to knock them down as they race with the fast zombies towards Inchon harbour and freedom, hopefully with the money.

This one has a fantastic, lump-in-your-throat ending that will stick with you. Another winner from the Korean movie industry.

No comments: