Review: “Steve Niles’ Remains” Is Your Typical Zombie Apocalypse … With One Twist

What is it about the zombie genre that’s made it such a durable horror favorite? Why are the undead so much more accessible than Freddie or Jason or any of the other iconic villains?

Obviously it’s because, unless we’re nubile virgins, we don’t stand a chance of escaping those monsters with our jugulars intact. But zombies are a different story. Deep down, we all believe that we can survive the Zombie Apocalypse, no matter how slutty we are, as long as we can run … and wield a sawed-off shotgun.

The Chiller Network’s entry in the zombie genre premieres tonight, with the adaptation of the graphic novel Remains, by Steve Niles (who’s best known for 30 Days Of Night).

So what does Remains have that sets it apart? It’s certainly not production values (it’s on par with a Syfy Original Movie), or story (four survivors in a Reno casino try to keep from being eaten). But it does have something rare and precious in a horror film … a gay character.

As shocking as that is, it’s not the first zombie movie with gay heroes. Last year saw Zombies Of Mass Destruction bring us a gay couple battling through hordes of flesh feasters (and of course, we’re still patiently waiting for The Walking Dead to give us a gay survivor).

In Remains, we’ve got a pocket gay named Jensen, a bad professional magician, who’s played by former child star extraordinaire Miko Hughes. Miko has been acting since age three, when he made his memorable film debut in Pet Sematary. He’s now in his mid-20′s, and still adorable (but this time in a non nightmare-inducing way).

The plot is simple: Some kind of “peace bomb” is exploded in the Nevada desert that is supposed to destroy all nuclear capability for the rest of forever, but Whoops!, something goes horribly wrong and the bomb instead turns everyone into flesh-eating mutants. Only people who were inside lead-lined enclosures at the time of detonation were spared … so basically it’s like Night Of The Comet, except it doesn’t have Chakotay or the 80′s awesomeness.

Jensen is spared, and teams up with barmaid Tori (Evalena Marie), card dealer Tom (Grant Bowler), from Ugly Betty and True Blood, and the shady hunk Victor (Anthony Marks), who provides the movie’s interesting moments.

Interesting moment #1

Interesting moment #2

Interesting moment #3

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