Director/Screenplay – Gerald Nott, Producers – Clint Glenn & Gerald Nott, Photography – Scott Peck, Music – Brian Beardsley & Pieter Schlosser, Digital Effects – Brian Beardsley, Makeup Effects – Paul Molnar. Production Company – Nott Enterprises
Clint Glenn (Ryn Baskin), Nicola Giacobbe (Hans Tubman), Parrish Randall (Blythe Remington), Erin McCarthy (Hunter Leah), Dion Day (Jackson), Jeff Swarthout (Walters)
It is 75 years after civilisation has been devastated by a plague of zombies. Bounty hunters pursue the remaining zombies, shooting them in the head and taking their severed fingers to collect their bounty. One bounty hunter Ryn Baskin eliminates the zombies in a small town, only to be ambushed, his bounty stolen, and he shot and left for dead by rival bounty hunter Blythe Remington and his cohorts. However, Ryn survives and pursues the gang to the zombie-infested Union City, seeking vengeance. In Union City, Remington unveils his evil plan to claim even greater bounties by turning towns of the living into more zombies.
The Quick and the Undead is a low-budget debut feature from young Texas-based director Gerald Nott. Nott and the film’s star/co-producer Clint Glenn came up with the title together after slinging together various possible wordplay combinations – in this case conducting a play on the Sam Raimi Western The Quick and the Dead (1995).
Exactly as the title suggests, The Quick and the Undead is a crossbreed between a George A. Romero zombie film, of which we have seen numerous remakes, imitators and knockoffs in recent years following the remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004), and a Spaghetti Western. The Romero connection is obvious, right down to shooting the zombies in the head as their only means of despatch. Gerald Nott gets right into the cod-Spaghetti Western poses – happily borrowing directorial shots from Sergio Leone, substituting motorcycles in lieu of horses and with the hero smoking a cheroot and outfitted in a telescope crown hat just like Clint Eastwood. The great surprise about The Quick and the Undead is that Nott plays it surprisingly seriously and doesn’t take the opportunity to send any of it up a la Shaun of the Dead (2004) or go completely gonzo a la other generic crosshatches such as Six-String Samurai (1998).
There is no particular ambition to the film beyond its melding of genres and no greater depth to it than what we see on the screen. Nevertheless, The Quick and the Undead achieves everything reasonably well. It moves with a fast pace. There is an enterprising level of low-budget gore – notably a sequence where a zombie is carved up on a table. One would have liked to have seen more detail given to the background of the future the film sketches out for itself – you could easily imagine The Quick and the Undead being expanded out into a series.
Director/writer/producer Gerald Nott and his star/co-writer/co-producer Clint Glenn subsequently went onto make the Backwoods Brutality film The Flesh Keeper (2007).