Given the drastically overcrowded field of zombie movies, Exit Humanity merits appreciation for really trying something different: It’s a Civil War zombie film that, low budget aside, is in many ways closer in feel to Cold Mountain than to the usual George Romero-derived splatfest. John Geddes’ Canadian feature is easier to love in the abstract, however: While it’s handsomely shot and (occasionally) animated, its humorless, sometimes ponderous progress doesn’t ultimately make complete sense of the period/undead combo.
Heavy on narration, onscreen text in elaborate cursive script and ominously titled dividers (“Chapter VII: Retribution”), Geddes’ a Civil War zombie film script opens with a prologue in which Confederate soldier Edward Young (Mark Gibson) is nonplussed to find himself confronted during a forest skirmish by one ashen-faced Yankee who is unable to die.
Six years later, this outbreak of “dead-alives” has claimed Edward’s wife, while his son is missing. Having figured out how to kill these creatures (yes, it’s the brains), he sets out with his musket into the plagued countryside to find his son.
He finds another survivor in likewise ginger-bearded Isaac (Adam Seybold), who strong-arms the reluctant hero into helping him rescue his sister (Jordan Hayes) from the clutches of Gen. Williams (Bill Moseley). The general has set up a bunker with two goons (Ari Millen, Jason Brown) and tippling Doc Johnson (Stephen McHattie) where they turn kidnap victims into guinea pigs, letting them get bitten by the undead in order to test Doc’s dubious cure.