Zack Snyder is having an amazing 2021 as far as the world of cinema goes. Earlier this year, the director's long-awaited version of Justice League was released to rapturous fan reception and decent critical notices, and now his newest release takes him back to his zombified roots.
He also seems to have found a new home at Netflix as he is currently developing a sci-fi opus with shades of Akira Kurosawa (imagine a Snyderized Star Wars) at the streaming giant and is expanding the universe he created with his latest film.
Army of the Dead does not reinvent the wheel but it is a good time filled with absurdly entertaining levels of gore and is a showcase for how far Snyder's filmmaking craft and sensibilities have come since his cinematic debut. However, it does not fully live up to its potential and some of its story beats indicate that there was a more interesting story to tell beyond a zombie heist in Vegas.
It is packed with references to past entries in the genre, his filmography, and various works across different media. These Easter eggs add thematic layers to a standard genre mashup and remind audiences of how detail-oriented Snyder can be in his visual storytelling.
10. Zack's Accidental Cameo
It is common for directors to cameo in their projects, and they range from subtle and artful to unnecessary and distracting. Snyder is not a stranger to making small appearances in his films (most notably as a WWI soldier on a plot-important photograph in BvS).
However, his cameo in his latest feature is unique in the way it was completely unplanned. In an interview during the film's promotion, the director revealed that he was accidentally caught in frame during the film. Fortunately, the cameo is a blink-and-you-miss-it moment so it did not detract from the experience.
Snyder did not specify where exactly the cameo takes place in the film, but a fair number of eagle-eyed viewers believe that it took place in the film's bonkers opening credits. When a particularly unfortunate reveler is being chased by zombie strippers in a hotel bathroom, the Watchmen director's reflection is briefly seen in the bathroom mirror.
It is on screen for a fleeting moment that is made all the amusing by Zack's nonchalant response to it and choice to leave it in the final cut.