What was I thinking? The film is called Zombie Tidal Wave. It has the director, Anthony C. Ferrante, and star, Ian Ziering, of the Sharknado films. And it was made for SyFy. But I still watched it. Please, let me spare you from the same fate.
The plot has something to do with an underwater earthquake unleashing hordes of zombies from a sunken vessel. Shock Waves used that plot device back in 1977. But this time instead of elite Nazi zombies they’re neon-colored flesh eaters. They promptly attack the boat Hunter Shaw (Ian Ziering) is fishing one with his buddy Ray (Shelton Jolivette) and Ray’s niece Jada (Eliza D’Souza). Jada gets bit and in one of the film’s few intelligent moments, they head back to shore to get her to the hospital.
It’s not long after that we get a tsunami that is literally full of zombies. Which makes no sense unless that ship had a massive crew. From here we get multiple subplots involving Hunter’s love interest Kenzie (Cheree Cassidy) and her daughter Sam (Tatum Chiniquy), a band called The Fulci’s and Marty (Randy Charach, Kickboxer: Retaliation). He’s the weird recluse with the gated mansion and a zombie in the basement.
Zombie Tidal Wave could have been enjoyably mindless entertainment, but it sabotages itself at every turn. The effects are absolutely bottom of the barrel. A scene where Hunter and the Sheriff (Erich Chikashi Linzbichler) ride the wave out on his boat could have been great if it didn’t look like a bad cartoon. The same for what should have been a neat reference to the outboard motor scene from Zombie Holocaust/Dr. Butcher M.D. The heads are so obviously latex the scene becomes unintentionally funny.
Despite five people including Ferrante and Ziering working on the script, it’s as bad as the effects. Just who or what is responsible for the zombies being in the wreck is never explained. There are vague references to experiments and the drug company that owned it, but that’s it. The sheriff’s involvement is raised and just as quickly dropped.
Most of Zombie Tidal Wave consists of generic characters running around meeting predictable fates. From Sam’s boyfriend right down to the dbag who tosses his GF to the zombies so he can escape, we know what will happen to them. And when they run out of ideas? No problem just have another tidal wave hit. Just as SyFy will probably pull out a sequel or three to this since bursts of inspiration such as The Banana Splits Movie are few and far between on that channel.