** This review may contain eye splinter spoilers **
A group of university students go on a field exam unbeknownst that the island was previously used for biological experiments on life-term prisoners. Lowell Dean director of the recent excellent 1980s throwback WolfCop, made his feature film debut with this little spin on the zombie genre. 13 Eerie is packed with nicely executed gross out effects, chewed off figures, exploding heads, torn neck flesh bites and like.
While the cast are effective enough it’s really Nick Moran’s stone head Larry character and Katharine Isabelle as Megan that run the show and leave an impression. The set up mirrors Head Hunters as a group of FBI students go to a secluded island, only here it’s a group of six forensic undergrads who examine set up crime scenes with real bodies from the morgue.
The film benefits from an on location shoot, much of it at dusk, as the cadavers come back to life which gives it that required eerie (no pun intended) atmosphere. The score works best when it has the base and beats of the likes of Carpenter and Frizzi. The makeup and special effects are great, Dean offers some moments reminiscent of the music video Thriller as the infected burst through the floorboards and Fulici’s Zombi with an extreme eye splinter scene, there’s plenty of zombie-like homages as it comes to an action setup closing.
It’s a fine debut for the young director Dean with a novel staging for a virus zombie-like flick helping it avoid the usual cliché pitfalls.