Around this time last year, Colin was generating a huge buzz at Cannes as the sub-$100 budget zombie movie. While that budget is questionable (sure, they might have only spent that out of pocket but what about the cameras, editing equipment, etc?) it is clearly a very low budget affair. More importantly, it actually justifies at least some degree of the hype that surrounded it. This is micro budget zombie movie making done right.
The basic story follows a dude from shortly after he gets bit. We watch him turn, then wander around some English city once he does, getting into zombie mishaps. They’re very Romero-like zombie mishaps — very slow, messed up and pretty stupid, yet possibly retaining a minor spark of who and what they were.
Speaking of Romero, fans will be reminded of Bub from Day of the Dead and certain elements of the just-released Survival of the Dead‘s plot as well. This is a relatively sympathetic portrait of the zombie, as far as one can be sympathetic to an ambulatory corpse trying to eat you. It also draws stylistic influence from 28 Days Later to some degree (musically in particular, but also in the depiction of the zombies as feral and animal-like) and at times it plays out almost like a zombie version of Richard Linklater’s Slacker.
For such a low budget film, the makeup and gore effects were amazing. A few of them looked shoddy, certainly, but overall they were great, especially Colin’s decomposition from “not so fresh” to “hey, where’d your face go?” over the course of the movie.
There were some issues. The editing and camera work are a bit spastic at times. It’s certainly lit like a $100 movie. At points it was all but impossible to figure out what was going on. Maybe if I had adjusted the brightness of my TV up … At times, in part possibly due to the darkness, it’s not exactly clear what the hell is happening story wise. And it hits an almost deadly lull about halfway through that slows the pace down to a crawl. Look past those issues, though, and you have one of the best micro budget indie zombie features to come out in ages. Now it just needs to get aÂ proper US DVD release so more people can see the damn thing…
Edit: Forgot to mention, the short film I watched was called Dead Ending. It was kind of a Twilight Zone-type story about a plant creature that turned people into zombies. It was shot to look and feel a lot like Night of the Lviing Dead. It was all right. It’s from Retro Horror Remix if you want to poke around their site to try and find it (I didn’t see it on there).