Zombie movies used to be a reliable source of entertainment for gorehounds. Then every kid who knew someone who could do make-up was out in the park with the neighbors making a zombie movie. Distributors were buying up everything. If you had a title, your production would be announced in Variety, and blind offers would start pouring in even before you started shooting. All this crap started flooding the market until the word “zombie” or “dead” in the title was a red flag warning that the so-called movie was a piece of shit.
And that shit really started hitting the fan when a soap opera called “The Walking Dead” became one of the most popular series in television history. Fans started writing fan fiction inspired by the series, and novels with the word “zombie” or “dead” in the title destroyed the market for serious horror fiction in the same way that the amateur zombie movies had diminished the credibility of horror films.
Now this movie called “Maggie” comes along and it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger who is faced with the crisis of deciding what do do with his sick daughter when her sense of smell becomes acute, a warning of her incipient transformation into a carnivorous zombie. His options are to obey the authorities and put her into quarantine, slip her a special cocktail that is rumored to result in an extremely painful death, or blast a quick one to her skull with a shotgun.
Most of the movie is devoted to extreme close-ups of the father walking around the house and property wondering what to do about his problem daughter. It looks very much like an episode of “The Walking Dead,” and I suspected at first that it was made to give fans of that show something to watch during its between-season hiatus. so I was surprised to find that nobody in the “Maggie” crew was associated with “The Walking Dead.” In fact, they were associated with nothing before the “Maggie” project.
With the exception of the actors, this was an amateur production all the way. Schwarzenegger never was much of an actor, but it is amazing that in 45 years in front of the camera, he hasn’t learned a damn thing about the craft. Most of these old guys with staying power have managed to develop some kind of style; some have even gone home with Oscars in the supporting actor category. But Schwarzenegger has come up empty. It is hard to believe that this 68 year-old wreck was once The Terminator, let alone Mr. Universe. He looks way older than his years, and creaks around so slowly that I doubt if he could ever catch a zombie, let alone kill one.
Some will call “Maggie” an art film because it is so void of events. But it is about as far from art as you can get. It is just crap. Pure and simple. Even fans of “The Walking Dead,” and this is a group that gets its thrills from miserably acted soap opera periodically invigorated by some shots of flesh-eating zombies on the go, are bound to give the finger to this dud.