DEAD RISING: WATCHTOWER (2015) Reviews and overview

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Dead Rising: Watchtower is a 2015 action horror zombie feature film directed by Zach Lipovsky (Tasmanian Devils; Leprechaun: Origins), from a screenplay by co-producer Tim Carter (Mortal Kombat: Legacy). The film is based on the video game of the same name. Legendary Pictures produced as its first digital film and it was released on Crackle on March 27, 2015.


The movie stars Jesse Metcalfe (Insanitarium; The Tortured), Dennis Haysbert, Virginia Madsen (Candyman; The Haunting; A Haunting in Connecticut), Meghan Ory (Vampire High), Keegan Connor Tracy (Final Destination 2; Embrace of the Vampire; Bates Motel) and Rob Riggle (Dragula; Hotel Transylvania and sequel).


Set between the events of Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 3, the story follows online reporter Chase Carter and camerawoman Jordan as they cover the stories of the people inside of the walled-in quarantined area in Oregon, as the government (running an organization called FEZA — Federal Emergency Zombie Authority) attempts to contain a viral outbreak that turns people into ravenous zombies.

An anti-viral drug called Zombrex, that keeps the virus at bay, is being administered to those infected. When it becomes clear that the drug is no longer effective and a zombie outbreak purges the town and infects its inhabitants, Chase, Jordan, grieving mother Maggie , and survivor Crystal battle their way out of the city before it gets firebombed. But Crystal has a dark secret, and the army has a hidden agenda…



Dead Rising: Watchtower is precisely the type of comedic action/horror concoction that it plainly wants to be, but there’s something about the film’s aggressively episodic structure — and 118-minute running time — that makes it feel more like a series of short films that were cut together than a full-bore three-act story.” Scott Weinberg, Nerdist

“Fans may justifiably complain that it’s impossible to invest in one-dimensional characters and cliché government cover-ups, but no one can say it’s not as good as the games. Disposable characters and convoluted conspiracies are as common to the Dead Rising universe as machete shotguns and ludicrous Mad Max-style gangs. For better or worse, Watchtower is exactly the movie the Dead Rising series deserves.” Adam DiLeo, IGN


… surprisingly very good take on the hit video games of the same name. It’s above average zombie cinema with teeth and it’s worth a shot if you’re in the mood for good apocalyptic entertainment.” Felix Vasquez, Cinema Crazed

“Compounding the uneventful nature of the movie is the simple fact that it’s not very good horror. There’s blood – mostly in obvious CG splashes and the occasional mouthful burped out in actor’s faces – but no real gore. There’s a slightly juicy bisection, and a pretty good decapitation, but that’s it. For a movie with so much inventive hardware being wielded, too little of it ever gets put to use for a memorable kill.” Dan Whitehead,


Choice dialogue:

Case Carter [Jesse Metcalfe]: “I’m putting myself to sleep, this story’s been done.”

Protester: “God hates zombies!”

Filming locations:

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Cast and characters:

  • Jesse Metcalfe as Chase Carter
  • Meghan Ory as Crystal O’Rourke
  • Virginia Madsen as Maggie
  • Keegan Connor Tracy as Jordan
  • Aleks Paunovic as Logan
  • Dennis Haysbert as General Lyons
  • Gary Jones as Norton
  • Carrie Genzel as Susan Collier
  • Rob Riggle as Frank West
  • Reese Alexander as Shearson
  • Harley Morenstein as Pyro
  • Julia Benson as Amy
  • Peter Benson as Bruce
  • C. Ernst Harth as Bonzo Zombie
  • Jen and Sylvia Soska as Zombies (cameo; uncredited)

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