“Lost in Apocalypse” is a Chinese zombie film directed by Sky Wang. The film is Wang’s feature debut and is based on a comic of the same name by Ruibo Cao. “Lost in Apocalypse” won Best Horror film at the 2018 Los Angeles Film Awards. It also won Best Debut Film Maker plus Best Horror / Science Fiction Genre Feature Film Award at the 2018 Calcutta International Cult Film Festival.
Lost in Apocalypse screened at Fractured Visions Film Festival
The story starts in media res with the characters amid a zombie virus outbreak. We start at the half way point of the film with the characters on the run and then flash back to the beginning of the outbreak. I found the way the story is told at the beginning of the film very unique. If you didn’t know this was a zombie movie you wouldn’t really know what you are getting into. The conversations and introductions we get with the characters, for most of the beginning of the film, have very little to do with the virus story. I found myself a bit confused on what kind of story was being told here, but realized we are being dropped into the lives of these characters mid-flow of their normal lives. There is no zombie conspiracy or evil corporations responsible for the outbreak. The reasons for the outbreak, the how and why, are never explored in the film. I enjoyed how the story drops us into their lives and we get conformable with the characters just before the film picks up the pace in later acts.
Once the action starts, we have some great zombie fight scenes and the characters get on the move to what they think is a safe haven. Let’s just say they jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. I would be remiss to not mention that this film has a striking similarity to “The Walking Dead: television show. I wish it had made a few more unique moves in the story since with Walking Dead being so fresh in the minds of horror fans these day,s the film feels a bit like a Chinese special length feature episode. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on how much of a zombie film fan you are.
Director Sky Wang and cinematographer Xiaowei Wang get creative with the camera and Sky Wang’s choice in music to score this film is top notch. Xiaowei Wang uses wide angle lenses often but usually in very short takes so it can be hard to notice them. These quick cuts from one type of wide close up to more conventional medium shots helps build the film’s pace and tension. In a few scenes, composer Jason Gertel gives us some really cool music choices. When the action starts there is some great western style guitar music that I really enjoyed and it is juxtaposed with some hard techno in other action scenes. The music either blends nicely into he scene or stands out to compliment it. Through-out the film the score is excellent and one of the best pieces of this production.
My favourite actor in this film is Mingyi Yang who plays Rich. When we first see Rich on screen he has a baseball bat in his hand and he is getting out of a car. The first thing he does is fix his hair which in a zombie apocalypse, you might think is a low priority. Not for Rich, who Mingyi Yang portrays with a dry cutting arrogance and is setup to be one of the main villains in the movie. Martin Yang as Jack brings an endearing presence to the film. His aw-shucks smile and boyish face help balance out the cast. He portrays the hopeful honest youth who we can rely on to be a hero. “Lost in Apocalypse” is his debut role and he likely has a good future in acting since he portrays the young everyman with ease and is very likeable in this film.
“Lost in Apocalypse” is an exciting watch and I like what it did with the source material. The music is great and the film is beautiful to look at with a wide and warm colour palette and great camera work. If you like zombie films you will likely enjoy “Lost in Apocalypse”.