Filmed in India, BETAAL is a zombie series with a terrific premise, heavy cliches presented so earnestly they kind of work, and plenty of ridiculous elements. The result is not quite serious, not quite camp, and I found it sort of overbaked but I just went with it and had some fun.
The show centers on an elite counter-insurgency military unit that has a reputation for brutality. While they are super patriotic and believe in the work they’re doing, their leader is corrupt, hiring out her unit to corporations to suppress resistance to development of natural resources. A businessman hires the unit to clear out the villagers living near a mountain so they can reopen a tunnel sealed since the Great Mutiny of 1857, which trapped a regiment of British East India Trading Company soldiers inside.
The villagers warn a great evil is trapped under the mountain that will come out, but of course they’re ignored, and the story quickly turns into one of survival horror as the soldiers and the businessman and his family try to last the night as the lost regiment emerges to claim the world.
The result was just fun enough to keep me watching despite the usual plot-pushing zombie cliches and odd elements like the British undead wearing military uniforms from the 1700s and not the Victorian era, complete with tri-horn hats, and an old abandoned British barracks that somehow got fluorescent lighting installed since 1857.
Check it out if you’re looking for something different in a familiar zombie package. (Streaming on Netflix)