Period Setting And Hunky Leads Make Zombie Pic ‘Rampant’ Stand Out

Did anyone catch 'Monstrum' two months ago?    

Rampant (NC16)
Starring Hyun Bin, Jang Dong-Gun

Directed by Kim Sung-Hoon

After spending years in China, a Joseon prince (Hyun Bin) returns to a country in crisis. The kingdom is threatened by uprisings. His brother, The Crown Prince, has committed suicide. The power-hungry Minister of War (Jang Dong-Gun) is plotting to usurp the throne. Oh yes, and there’s this zombie plague…

Not too long ago, there was this Korean creature-feature called Monstrum. That, too, is a period piece and like Rampant, fuses political chicanery with monster mayhem; the two movies even have similar endings. Except the agent of the apocalypse here isn’t a giant mutant mutt but an army of the undead (or night demons, as they’re called).

The historical background gives the familiar zombie madness — epic, intense and not of the PG13 variety — a fresh coat of paint. Another selling point: the rivalry between Jang and Hyun Bin’s characters which culminates in a fiery showdown that seems to go on and on. The producers must be milking the screen time shared by these real-life best friends who’re teaming up for the first time. (***)

Photo: Clover Films/Golden Village

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