What seems like a standard commercial flight goes horrifically wrong when a few scientists fail to keep their experiment contained. The fact that said experiment is a living person who’s been intentionally infected with a modified version of the Malaria virus should indicate where this story is headed (if the goofy film title didn’t already lead you down the proper path). Under guise of a nasty thunderstorm and the subsequent turbulence, the genetically altered captive is freed from confinement. When a long lost extra from Wolfgang Peterson’s OUTBREAK pumps the escapee full of lead, all hell officially breaks loose.
Up jumps the corpse, fully reanimated with an evident thirst for blood. The stellar guard on duty is quickly disposed of, but not for long, as he too rises after being turned into a human entré. It’s safe to assume this problem escalates at an alarming rate, as two zombies quickly multiply into a 747 full of undead. It’s up to a small group of survivors, including police officer Truman (David Chisum), his tag along prisoner Frank (Kevin J. O’Connor), TSA (Transportation Security Administration) agent Paul Judd (Richard Tyson) and a flight attendant to not only survive this mid-flight attack, but also land the plane… it seems someone already made a meal of the pilot.
There’s no shortage of action, gore, or silly performances here. It’s pedal to the metal from the opening sequence to the final credits, but despite nonstop action and gallons of blood… the IT factor is just completely missing. Unfortunately, most of the films comedy falls flat, few characters warrant notation, and there are too many improbabilities to ever become genuinely attached to any character, conflicts or eventual resolutions. While I usually enjoy over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek flicks, FLIGHT just feels extremely forced, as though nearly everyone involved in this project is trying too damn hard to create a fun, spirited flick. I must admit with the script material provided by Scott Thomas, Mark Onspaugh, and Sidney Iwanter, I expected a bit more.
But, as I’ve asked myself on countless occasions: should a motion picture of this nature be critiqued by such stern film standards? I think the answer is no. There are films meant to effect viewers in monumental ways. Films that actually contain the power to influence individuals. There are films produced with the intent of tapping into the most sensitive regions of the human psyche, whether dark or pleasant in nature. There are films created with the sole purpose of financial gain; films created with designs of enlightening our children. There are also films created with the sole intent of having fun, a category I feel FLIGHT fits into. And though I’ve noted some contempt for the film, in the end, I can imagine quite a few who would find the film quite enjoyable. So…all in all, while FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD may not fulfill all of my personal desires, I can guarantee you plenty will enjoy this picture.
In closing, I’ll simply say this: If you’re in the mood for cannibalistic babes, blood, brains, and guts, check out Scott Thomas’ daring low budget zombie flick FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: OUTBREAK ON A PLANE. It may be just what you’re looking for.
Cannibalistic babes, blood, brains, and guts; expect it all. Just don't expect a profound film.