Reality Z is basically a remake of 2008’s Dead Set but situated in Brazil. For that alone, this zombie series certainly loses points for originality but the sun-soaked location of South America, coupled with a few intriguing characters, may be enough to salvage this one. For now though, the reanimated corpse of Dead Set has a brand new pair of lungs and a story that could deviate from its source material in the episodes to come.
We begin episode 1 of Reality Z in Rio De Janeiro with a mother watching TV, switching from one channel across to a reality show called Olimpo.
We then cut across to the producer of the show, Brandao, berating his colleagues Bra and Sofia who wind up stopping by the side of the road where a woman is eaten alive. As the zombie turns its attention to Bra, she bites his neck prompting Sofia to snatch him up and rush him into the city.
The zombie apocalypse has started though and chaos grips the streets. In the wake of this, Congressman Levi bribes a couple of officers and manages to get a lift to the airport in a bid to outrun the undead.
One of the backstage crew for Olimpo, Nina, becomes tired of her job and it’s only exacerbated by Brandao ignoring the news and deciding the show should go on regardless. It’s eviction night inside the house too and the first to go is Jessica. As the house counts down from 10, the zombified Sofia arrives in the car and causes chaos to grip the crowd outside the house.
That chaos extends to the production crew inside who run for their lives as zombies spill inside. Jessica runs for cover while Nina and Ro’s kissing is interrupted by Lucas who kills Ro just as Nina manages to slip away, watching in horror as the news confirms that the undead are attacking.
In the morning, Nina faces Lucas and manages to kill him while inside the house, the housemates remain unaware of what’s happening. Nina’s attempts to leave are thwarted by a whole horde of zombies, prompting her to head back inside, just as the housemates finally realize that something is wrong outside the house. When Nina bursts in through the door though, the contestants immediately applaud, believing she’s a new housemate.
With some cheap camera work and cheesy slow-motion shots, Reality Z is saved somewhat by its dark humour. The moment at the end involving the housemates believing Nina’s a new contestant is a nice touch and there’s enough characters here to allow this show to grow into something unique over time. For now though, Reality Z gets off to a pretty indifferent start.