It's been eight years since the world was decimated by the Rott Worm Plague and survivors are still fighting for their lives, everyday, in the City of Rott. Two of those survivors, Harry and Max, team up to retrieve a possible cure for the skinworm infection that Max suffers from. The problem is that the cure might be hidden in a UFO that crashed in the city. However, with the tyrant, D'Vower, wanting the ship for himself, as well as a mysterious masked figure only known as Zivouhr, zombies are the least of Harry and Max's problems.
If you were to ask me if I wanted to watch a zombie movie today, I would tell you I'd rather shower with a bear. "What kind of bear," you might ask. Take your pick because any of them would be more enjoyable than watching another zombie movie.
However, if there is one person that can bring me back to this over saturated sub-genre, willingly and happily, it is Frank Sudol. Even though "Shock Invasion" marked the last installment in his "Cutout Trilogy", Mr. Sudol has hardly been quiet as he released his first computer animated feature film, "Gnome in the Haunted Castle", as well as the side-scrolling video game "Tomb of Twelve" (available for free -- click the link to access it). Now he's back with a follow up to his first feature film, "City of Rott", but with a new and interesting computer animated style.
It's been eight years since the Rott Worm Plague wiped out humanity and the undead still have control of the world. A tyrant who calls himself D'Vower has created his own army in order to control, not only the supplies, but what few survivors remain in the City of Rott as well. After D'Vower banishes survivor Max without aid or protection, he finds safety with an elder gentleman named Harry -- a man who happens to be an expert walker-fu. Together they try to survive and find a cure for the infection that's taken hold of Max. A task that proves challenging, not only because of the zombies, but because the cure is kept inside a UFO that crashed in the city. A UFO that's wanted by both D'Vower and masked figure only known as Zivouhr.
To be honest, the animation style in "City of Rott 2" was a bit of a shock. Sudol demonstrated that he has the ability to make fully articulate computer animation with "Gnome in the Haunted Castle", so it was surprising to see that with "City of Rott 2" he went in a more stylized direction. With the characters looking more like toys from the '70s with the legs welded together and the faces mapped onto a basic round shape, I wasn't sure if I would be able to look past that while watching the movie. However, I warmed up to the choice in stylization quickly and immersed myself into Sudol's zombie world and had fun with all of the digital undead mayhem.
One of the things that I have enjoyed with all of Sudol's movies is that, while the action can get repetitive -- which is understandable, since there's only so much that can be done -- the stories have always felt fresh, in a way. Five feature films later, and he still creates interesting stories with fun characters and it was great to see he was able to continue on producing solid stories with a direct sequel to a previous title. Particularly, what I liked about the story of "City of Rott 2" is that it expanded upon the stories that exist within the city and was less focused on the zombie aspect since they were well covered in the first movie.
Even how he was able to bring in the elderly character, Harry, into the movie who also goes around bashing zombie skulls with his walker -- or walker-fu as it has affectionately been dubbed -- was fun. And that's basically what "City of Rott 2" was as a whole: fun. With the movie being about the character, D'Vower, and how he is able to run a criminal/military operation amidst a zombie apocalypse. It was enjoyable to see that the action revolved around people taking on D'Vower instead of the zombies, who functioned more as backdrop pieces. Of course the addition of an alien subplot was fun too.
Frank Sudol managed to successfully revisit the world he created with "City of Rott" but without ever making the sequel feel that it was repetitive or tedious. I believe that the new direction in animation and style also helped with that, even though I was hesitant with it at first. Of course, in hindsight, it's easy to understand why he went with a "simpler" animation style when you know that everything that's being done -- design, animation, editing, sound, voice-work, etc. -- is being done by one man.
So, again, "City of Rott 2" was a great follow up by Frank Sudol. The story is taken in a different direction where the zombies are not the primary focus, but still touches on the things that made the first "City of Rott" movie as fun and memorable as it was. Don't worry though, even though it has dueling ninja characters and aliens running amok with their spaceship, there's still plenty of good ol' fashion walker-zombie-skull-bashing enjoyment to be had for new and established fans of "City of Rott".