Here is a film that looks absolutely amazing in the preview. Just so you know there are two movies with the name “The Devil’s Playground”. The easy way to tell which movie is the right one is to find the one that’s got a picture of an Amish girl smoking a cigarette on the cover…..and buy the other one. It’s not the movie about revolting Amish youth. It’s the movie about zombies. It’s currently on Netflix “Watch Instantly” so hurry if you’re interested. This film is English so it’s got a different feel to it. It was dark and violent and very fast paced. I decided to branch out from my normal IPA fetish to experience some other more tradition beer styles. Here’s where I bring out a few bottles of Erdinger Weissbier Pikantus. It’s a German Weizenbock! Weizen is German for “wheat” and bock is “Ram”. Not sure how ram has to do with beer. Unless it’s so strong it feels like you’ve ban bashed by a Ram’s horns? Maybe?
Anyway let’s do beer first and then the movie. I’m usually not a big lager fan. As I’m sure my readers have noticed through my choice of reviews. Yes Rouge Imperial Pilsner, Smuttynose Maibock, and Sam Adams LongShot Dortmunder Export are a few exceptions but for the most part despite all my best effort I just can’t get into lagers. I feel bad even saying that. By saying I don’t like lagers I immediately exclude almost half of all the world’s beers (by number of styles not % of beer sold). It’s with a strong resolve not to be so exclusive that I open the large 500ml bottle and pour into a tulip glass. I’m not sure exactly what the proper glass for a weizenbock is. I’ve seen doppelbocks served in mugs which might be traditional but for me they’re far from fitting for such a beer. So tulip glass it is! It pours a very rich deep dark brown. It’s a bit cloudy with a two finger tan head that quickly falls and leaves no lacing. There’s a strong malt aroma and what I can only describe as a hot alcohol smell. It’s like pureed raisins and prunes. It has a big dried fruit smell actually. The taste is powerful. There’s that dark fruity flavor with a rich wheat back. There’s spice and a hint of liquorice and brown sugar in the slightly sweet finish. It’s medium carbonated, and medium bodied but very chewy. If what I explained to you sounds appealing….then good. But to me it’s not good at all. I’m sorry I hate dried fruit and this beer reeks of it. And liquorice! Why don’t you just punch me in the balls and call me Sally because that’s how I feel. Beer Advocate puts this beer in the exceptional category…I put this beer in the exceptionally bad category!
The film on the other hand is in the exceptionally AMAZING category. Film starts off from a security camera in a destroyed lab room? This huge English dude is all busted up with broken glass sticking out of his face. He’s talking to the security camera about his role in the apocalypse and his path to redemption. I know I’ve seen this guy a million times. IMDB shows that it’s the six foot three Craig Fairbrass. He was in a ton of movies including The Bank Job and Cliffhanger! In fact most of the people in this film are in other legit movies. Dog Soldiers being the one that stands out to me. Also I didn’t check the list of actors very closely before I hit play so I was surprised when I saw Danny Dyer in this movie!!! He’s the guy from Doghouse that all the women love. He’s hilarious and just plain awesome. He’s the guy that rogers up to any horror movie they throw at him. Zombies? Sure. Vampires? Sure. Strange Russian Soldiers hiding out in a hillside? Fuck yea!
The film goes through a trial of a new drug that will make people smarter, faster, more focused, and just all around awesome. They give the trial to something like 20,000 people. Everything is great until they start to have side effects. First it’s bleeding, vomiting, the whole nine, then ultimately ZOMBIE!!!! All accept one woman. As she tries to escape the city Cole, a hardened hitman for the company that created the disease, tracks her down in hope that she holds the key to a cure. There’s a sort of love story between the girl who’s immune and her cop husband/ex husband? who was put in jail for shooting a kid. The real story of the incident comes to light in the final stages of the film.
There’s a lot of amazing things about this movie. The actors were great and very believable, the gore was realistic, and the sets were new and refreshing. But every zombie movie comes to a point where they need to decide what type of zombie they’re going to use. This makes a big difference in every other aspect of the movie. Because all the people were given a drug to make them superhumans they didn’t just turn into zombies….they turned into SUPER ZOMBIES!!! This I wasn’t a huge fan of. Zombies that can jump, climb, and run like Olympic athletes really tests what I feel is reasonable. But in this case if you can overlook all that and focus on how well done the acting and the special effects are then you’re really going to enjoy this movie. I know I did.