Titles like “Mutant Vampire Zombies From the Hood!” dangle a small hope that the movie itself won’t be duller than its eye-catching moniker. Here, that hope is rewarded: Thunder Levin’s feature is a fleet if forgettable low-budget romp through familiar genre terrain. Headlining C. Thomas Howell as a cop turned gangster-ally in a suddenly post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, it’s good enough fun destined for fanboy DVD exposure.
Howell and a partner are staking out — improbably sans backup — a tense summit between Asian- and African-American gang chiefs (Robert Wu, Tyshawn Bryant) in an abandoned warehouse. Violence erupts, a bust is attempted, but just then a massive “solar flare” knocks everybody out. Upon waking, they discover anyone who wasn’t underground or in a lead-lined building like theirs became undead — though varying degrees of resistance produced variably intelligent (as well as unpleasantly horny) zombies. Gasoline having been neutralized somehow, police and perps must reluctantly join forces to reach a scientist’s gated compound in Santa Monica by foot. Gore factor is low for the genre, but game perfs, lively presentation and modest but adequate tech aspects pass the time amusingly.