ZOMBIE MOVIES – Block Z (2020)

Block Z is a Filipino Zombie movie that takes place at a medical school. PJ is dropped off by her father at San Lazaro University after a short, emotional car ride between father and daughter. It appears he’s late on tuition, and doesn’t have the money to follow through.

Oddly, Block Z starts with subtitles, then switches to English, then has intermittent dialogue that is in subtitles. I don’t really mind, it’s just a little back and forth.

PJ and her squad are in medical school and the school is broken down by social groups that appear to be based on the student’s “block”. Some of the translations may be off, but I’m not sure. You’ll see what I mean if you watch it. Small bits that seem off.

As PJ is starting her day in a clinic, her father, Mario accidentally hits a pedestrian, which leads him back to the emergency room where PJ is working. As Mario brings in his accident victim PJ is going to treat a patient who has what should be small injury. The patient has been bitten.

The patient is a female who has been bitten on her ankle, and as PJ and her pre med friend examines the patient she goes into shock, her brow slowly turning to spider veins. Patient 0 codes and is pronounced dead.

Patient 0

At least for a little while. Two other pre med students are in Patient 0’s room when she comes back. One of them is quickly pulled down as the other runs for it, opening the door so that Patient 0 and the first pre med victim she attacked are now in the triage unit where all hell breaks loose.

Patient 0 About To Spread The Infection Further

This shortly spreads o the gym, where the coach gets his nose bitten off and the basketball team pretty much gets destroyed. The cheerleaders are next, which quickly turns into an all out infection. The school has been overrun.

PJ has survived, and so had her father, but they have been separated. PJ’s father is with the young man trying to get money for walking in front of his vehicle, who has been bitten. Of course the young man turns, and appears to bite PJ’s father, but we aren’t quite sure yet. One of the other student doctors, Lucas, show’s up, saving PJ’s father for the moment.

Lucas ends up finding PJ just in time, because she was in the Chancellor’s office after he was bitten in the initial outbreak. Lucky for PJ, Lucas manages to save the day for her as well.

In the chaos students and patients try to make it outside, but they find their way blocked at the main gates by the military. As Zombies push the survivors out into the open the soldiers panic, opening fire on zombies and survivors alike.

While the slaughter is going on, the son of a privileged military commander calls his father and is told to be ready at 5AM for a helicopter rescue – but only for two people.

We now have two groups of survivors. PJ with a few fellow students, and her father who is with the security guard, Bebeth and Patient 0’s young daughter, Ruby. They are hiding out in the kitchen store room where they are safe for the moment.

Ruby enjoys some ice cream while Mario and Bebeth share some booze Bebeth’s coworker hid there.

Mario And Bebeth Talking About Their Children

The two are discussing their children when the lights go out and the red emergency lights come on.

Out in the parking lot PJ is with her small group of medical student survivors, trying to make their way across the parking lot. The rich student puts them all at risk for making a run for out of turn just before the generators die and the zombies spot PJ and Lucas in the open.

Crossing The Parking Lot Disaster

The group gets split up by the zombies. Lucas and PJ end up crawling under cards in a garage full of the undead and just barely escape with their lives.

The group reunites not far away at the church, and thankfully someone had the sense to ask Lucas what his wound is from, making sure he wasn’t bitten.

As the church bells ring the group realizes they are surrounded. They grab what weapons they can find and begin a desperate fight to survive. They fight off the initial few zombies, but a massive horde is coming for them.

The Horde Cometh

Lucas steps forward but before he can strike the first zombie is blown away. Dad and Bebeth have shown up just in time to safe the day.

Mario And Bebeth Save The Day

Mario and PJ hug it out but Mario was saved earlier by Lucas, and Lucas told Mario he had to go look for his “girlfriend”. I love the fact that in the midst of people eating people Dad (Mario) is still worried about his daughter’s love life. PJ goes around and says, friends, friends, friends to everyone there.

Friends

For the moment Mario is mollified and the survivors are safe.

PJ dresses Lucas’s glass cut wounds while he has a pity party for himself, thinking he could have saved some of the others. PJ tells him she should be thinking him and they look like they are going to kiss, at least until Mario comes by and coughs in their direction.

As the medical students discuss the virus and what it might be Ruby wanders over to a very dark stairway and is only kept from going down by Mario intervening.

The rich kids girlfriend mentions the rescue as they are standing in the church, and he is forced to admit there will only be room for two people, and that he didn’t think there would be this many survivors by now (what a d*ck). He then proceeds to basically say the guard (Bebeth) and the older guy (Mario) should be left behind with the kid (Ruby) because they will just slow the medical students down.

Lucas, being a good, moral person says they can’t leave anyone behind, but the rich kid (Gelo) doesn’t agree.

The group then agrees to move on to the Library, which leads the group by a lot of growling, angry zombies. As Bebeth is opening a locked door Ruby sees her mother (now a hungry Zombie) and goes running into the midst of the biters.

Ruby Gets Eaten

While the survivors scream in horror as Ruby is devoured, Gelo takes the moment to screw over his friends, locking the gate that Bebeth just opened, and stranding his friends on the Zombie side.

There are apparently a lot of gates at this medical school. Even though Gelo locked them out the rest of the survivors are (barely) able to make it to another gated hallway and lock the biters on the far side.

It is now 1:44:08 AM, and the action has moved ont ot he

The Dormitory

Bebeth is heartbroken. She had bonded with Ruby and likely blames herself for what happened. This transitions into into a brief interlude where Mario plays the guitar before the others do a time check. They want to be at the hospital by 5AM.

PJ goes to use the restroom but when she pulls her hand back she realizes the doorknob was covered in blood.

Bloody Door Knob

Of course there is a zombie inside the bathroom. This leads to Mario jumping in to save his daughter, and getting bit in the process. PJ is in denial about what it means, but the others realize what’s about to happen. Mario begs Bebeth to shoot him, but PJ intervenes and Mario shuts the door on the bathroom so his daughter wont’ have to see him turn.

The group leaves him to his fate while Bebeth leads the remaining survivors to the pool. They don’t get far before Myles gets attacked in a storeroom and gets bitten. Bebeth gives him a handgun with four bullets before the dwindling survivors move on.

Apparently Myles has genetic good aim as he places his first two shots into zombie heads before wasting his last two. He’s dry firing and screaming as the zombie horde descends on him.

Bebeth holds the stairwell with her shotgun as the other flee, forced to jump into the pool when they have no other escape.

Stranded In The Pool

Lucky for the survivors the Zombies are afraid of the water. Even more lucky, Erika can’t live without Myles, and she’s willing to get eaten as a distraction so that PJ and Lucas can escape.

PJ and Lucas make it to the medical ward only to find it overflowing with Zombies as well, forcing them to flee to the roof.

The Hospital Rooftop

Lucas is worried about the door giving way but is able to help PJ climb to the next level before the roof gives way, the wound on his arm from earlier in the night holding him back. Lucas does the only thing you can do when your on a roof and about to get eaten, and jumps over the edge, leading a small horde with him as he goes.

The team is now down to one survivor. PJ is left, but as she’s lying on the helipad she realizes she’s been bit when she checks her watch.

PJ’s Bite

Instead of waiting for the helicopter, PJ goees back down into the building, grabbing an axe in the process.

PJ Getting The Axe

PJ does fairly well at first, but as she continues into the building she ends up getting bitten multiple times.

PJ has realized that she’s not turning, and figures that her father might not have turned either. She’s been heading back to her father since grabbing the axe.

Once she reunites with Mario she explains that they are somehow immune before breaking the news that no rescue is coming. They need to get back to the church in the hopes that old WW2 tunnels will lead them to safety. Lucky for them, the WW2 tunnels have electric lights.

WW2 Tunnels

Unfortunately for Mario and PJ, even though the tunnels are conveniently lit, they also contain a just about to turn Gelo, and he’s pissed that someone else might get to live when he’s clearly not going to. Mario fights off Gelo long enough to let PJ escape before they both flee to the surface.

Thing on the street don’t look great, but at least PJ finds a weapon fairly quickly and strikes a brave, combative pose.

A Girl And Her Gun

As PJ clutches her weapon the audio switches to a voiceover. There is a typhoon coming and everyone should flee once the rain starts.

We then cut over to PJ finding Lucas and telling the band behind her that they are taking him with them before the credits roll.

Block Z scores a 44/100, put it in Rainy Day territory, so safe it for one of those days where you are locked inside and there isn’t a lot else to do. Why did Block Z score a 44?

Part of the reason is the mix of English and Filipino which means you will be reading subtitles, listening to English, then switching back and forth as the dialogue changes. I found it a bit disruptive, which is sad, because the action scenes were actually pretty good.

The main reason though is the ending. It ends abruptly and honestly feels like a set up for a future film, but doesn’t really have a satisfying ending. PJ and Mario climb up onto the street and then it’s left to our imagination as to what happens.

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