Joe (Vladimir Zaric) has just spent the last 2 weeks with his brother Stu (Hans Potter) and their friends camping in the wilderness. Disconnected because of Joe’s insistence that they leave their phones at home, they’re unaware of the danger that waits for them as they head back to the city. The reason Joe demanded they leave their phones behind is because he’s currently AWOL from the Army. He’s struggling with PTSD, which leaves him in a delicate mental state when the group winds up at a remote cabin looking for gas, only to find the home covered in blood. Blood is the least of their worries though, as they soon find out that people have started becoming flesh eating monsters, and they’re the next meal.

Although 3 Hours till Dead may be a strong addition to the zombie genre, as well as an incredibly bloody one, it’s hard to feel like it didn’t miss a few opportunities to do something more unique for the genre. It’s a bit of a by-the-book zombie flick, which isn’t a bad thing. There’s some good tension, some great looking zombies, and it’s hard to remember the last time I saw a film splashed with so much blood. You’re lucky to find a surface that isn’t slick with dripping gore, and that’s always a positive in a horror film.

Where it lacks is dealing with Joe’s PTSD. Aside from one single scene, we’re never really shown how it may be affecting his life. Even in that scene, it doesn’t really come across as something that is a problem. There really aren’t any symptoms displayed, and with some of the terrible effects that PTSD has, it offered some interesting options for the film that I was hoping would be explored. Instead, it’s just a simple sidenote as to why Joe may be trying to escape the Army.

3 Hours till Dead isn’t really focused on story though. After an introduction to the characters and some subplots that are never explored, the zombies take over the film. The group is served up one by one to the hungry horde, and whenever you think the zombies may run out of tasty human snacks, some unlucky individuals will show up to add to the group. One couple arrive and throw a bit of a twist into things as we see that it’s not just the zombies that the group must fear. Of course, the problem there is that it’s a common theme in zombie films, and we’re not really surprised to find out that another person can be just as dangerous as the flesh eating fellows outside of the house.

Even though the story may not try to take the genre in new directions, it certainly offers up intense, bloody, zombie action. The rotting corpses gush an almost pure black blood, which only adds to their grotesque appearance, and the horde will stop at nothing to get to their next meal. It’s nice to see such a brutal form of zombie. They’re nearly unstoppable and simply use their number to push their way into buildings. It also offers up a lot of chances for the characters to wipe out the zombies in increasingly bloody ways. The deaths have a real powerful feeling to them. You can feel the kick of a gunshot when a zombie is taken down, and the effects in these moments are always well done.

Sure, 3 Hours till Dead may just be another zombie film, but it’s one that is so bloody and brutal that fans of the genre will want to take a look. 3 Hours till Dead will be screening on Tuesdays, May 23, 2017 at The Royal at 9:00 pm, and is also now available on iTunes.

3 Hours till Dead Trailer