Review: TRANSIT 17 (2019)
Bearing a 2019 IMDB date but apparently dating back to about 2014, the Belgian action/zombie hybrid Transit 17 finally sees the light of day. A low budget film sitting on the shelf that long is usually not a good sign. Coupled with the fact Guy Bleyaert was the writer, director, and star, I was worried I was about to see a vanity project gone wrong. But the trailer looked good, so I decided to give it a look.
Set on the European continent in the near future, Transit 17 gives us a future with more than Brexit to worry about. A plague has ravaged the continent, turning most of the population in zombies, (called Runners for some reason). As if that wasn’t bad enough, General Ratzinger (Jean-Paul Van der Velde) has used the chaos to take control of what’s left of humanity.
As with any situation like this, though, there is a resistance movement. One group led by Robert (John Flanders) gets some amazing news. A young girl has been bitten by a runner and not turned. She might be the last hope for a cure. If they can get her to the sub that’s coming to take her to the UK. Robert sends out his best team Tex (Guy Bleyaert), Eve (Zara Phythian, Cannibals and Carpet Fitters, Tribal: Get Out Alive), Brad (Lee Charles, One Shot, Slaughterhouse Rulez), Deena (Kimberly Stahl) and Daniel (Daniel Pala) to get the job done.
But the zombies may be the least of their worries. General Ratzinger realizes a cure would put his hold on power in jeopardy. So, he has tasked his second in command, The Commander (Silvio Simac, Man of Tai Chi), with stopping them at any cost.
For a film with a fairly low budget, $1,000,000 per IMDB, Transit 17 has a fair amount of action. It’s not another Redcon-1 with seemingly endless action scenes, but it’s not all talk either. There are plenty of gun battles and hand-to-hand combat scattered through the film. There’s even a side plot with a team of mercs hired to take out a radio jamming tower to add a bit more action.
I do wish we’d gotten a bit more of the zombies, though. They’re fast-moving, aggressive, and deadly. The makeup for them is also fairly good. But for all we hear about them overrunning the continent, we don’t see that many of them. Most of the threats in Transit 17 come from other people.
On the downside, there’s some sketchy CGI. If you’ve seen the trailer or many low budget action films, you know that. And the guns look good from a distance, but many of them look like repainted kids’ toys when seen up close. But, given what Transit 17 achieves on its budget, those are minor complaints. It’s an action film that delivers action rather than endless talk.