By: Danny Templegod
Greetings valued Dan’s Movie Report and action-flix.com readers. Hard to believe it was over 5 yrs ago that I first covered Transit 17, please check out this post. Actress Zara Phythian took time out of her busy schedule to film a promo as well – see above.
Fast forward to October 2019, finally Transit 17 is unleashed! First to VOD second to DVD in December! Incidentally ,watch for a DVD contest around Christmas! Now on to the review.
Transit 17 is an eclectic mix of zombie and action film genre with a bit of a SYFY, and road movie thrown in for good measure. The story that is established in the beginning, is pretty basic, but sets up a quest that has a good adventure element. Much of the population has been infected by a virus that turns them into zombies soon after a bite. The team has to locate a 15 yr old girl who was bitten a month ago yet still shows no signs of the virus. Her rich fathered vowed to use her to find a cure for the infection. The path is fraught with Zombies and Sniffers, a military outfit who seem to actually support the zombification of the area. The crew have to use a variety of weapons including a grenade and an old Volvo, HA! Serious, part of the way they actually use a Volvo for their destination, thankfully they peel out in it and we see it goes fast.
The crew initially is transported around on a 6 wheel vehicle called The Pig, looks like something right out of Prometheus. This is kind of a homage to Land of the Dead where they plowed through a town in the same sort of vehicle. Land of the Dead though had so many zombies! This vehicle is basically transport, and I thought running over a couple zombies on the way would not have been a bad thing haha, but this truck breaks down by overheating, not by hitting a zombie. OK, yes that is different.
Many of the cast including Zara Phythian, Silvio Simac, and Lee Charles are now established action stars. Back in 2014, when this was filmed they were hitting their initial strides and it is nice to see once they get involved. Actually the highlight fight between Lee Charles character Brad and Silvio’s Commander character the leader of the Sniffers is pretty bad ass.
Guy Bleyaert pulls triple duty as writer, director, and lead actor. Guy is to be commended for pushing very hard on the film, yet I feel that his cast members needed to display more emotion or to be directed to do so. Often when someone wears many hats an aspect of the production can be slightly hampered. Guy’s thick accent, is a bit rough, yet because it is a grizzled veteran named Tex he plays it works, as his character is supposed to have ‘seen it all’.
I liked Kimberly Stahl as Deena, yet (minor spoiler) she is only in a very small part of the film. She turns in her sleep and wakes up due to Zara finding and they tussle, the outcome obvious, no big twist, but she did a good job in her limited role.
Speaking of sound and voices, the ADR is quite clear in Transit 17, people speak loud and it is easy to understand all the dialogue. I feel the film itself needed more urgency. People are talking relaxed, when they should be breathless. I wanted a bit more zombie or infected interaction as well.
The actual shots and filming is very good for an indie film. There is a large scope to the action and most of the best scenes are outside. The camera work is great, and people are clearly seen thanks to the thoughtful lighting. The film has a pro feel, not cheap, there is use of green screen in a few parts, but the tech looks detailed and intricate.
A special mention to actress Zara Phythian, she gives her maximum effort. Her character Eve, is sort of a female Rambo, and gets to mix it up with the boys, Her action moves are very smooth and her dialogue is clear.. Zara though, as hard as she worked, needed to be pushed with additional aggressiveness and anger. She needed tighter direction, and more characters to interact with not just guns to fire.
Although it seems I do not like Transit 17, or am nitpicking, I actually enjoyed the film. Transit 17 has a variety of mixed theme elements. There is something for horror , SYFY and action fans. Despite my minor gripes and the very short 84 minute run time, the film rates a solid 7 out of 10. Worthy of a rent or buy!
The film will be available on various VOD platforms on October 22nd Transit 17 will be available on digital for an SRP of $4.99 – $9.99 from platforms including iTunes, Vudu, Playstation, Xbox, Amazon Instant, Google Play, FandangoNow, Hoopla and Overdrive as well as 200+ cable affiliates including Comcast, Spectrum, Charter, Cox, Verizon, Frontier, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Google Fiber, and Dish. Watch for the film December 17th, 2019 on DVD! Watch for a new Zara interview in the coming months!
Here is my exclusive 2014 coverage! http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2014/08/transit-17-in-production-now-exclusive.html
About The Author: Danny Templegod is the owner and operator of the all exclusive Dan’s Movie Report and is a part time contributor for Action-Flix.com