Oh, the highs and lows of Zombie Movie Marathon Month. One day it’s the excellent not-quite-zombie flick The Signal. The next, it’s the definitely zombie trainwreck of Autumn.
And Autumn had such promise. It had an unusual take on zombies. It had David Carradine in what I believe was his last completed movie role. It had … well, that’s all it had going for it. The rest is all crap and all that crap pulverized the promise of those two elements.
So, storywise, pretty much everyone, all at once, drops dead in their tracks, leaving but a small handful of survivors. They band together to freak out and figure out what to do next. After a few days, the dead rise and start walking around. At first, they are docile and insensate. Later they recover their senses and become aggressive and nasty. In the meantime our protagonists scurry off to a farm to set up camp. And then … a whole lot of not very much, stretched out over nearly two full hours.
Here’s what we do get: Mediocre acting. A story that has no idea where it’s going and no hurry to get there. A terrible script. Awful, awful direction that wants desperately to be “arty” but ends up just looking like it wants desperately to be arty. Long shots of people looking out windows. Long shots of driving. Dream sequences that aren’t tied to the plot at all. Subplots that contribute nothing but pain. Technical defects in lighting and sound, including entire scenes where the background music drowns out the dialog. And much, much more. In short, a total mess. And Carradine is only in it for one ten-minute scene that could easily have been cut with no effect on the film. Pointless.
Hey, but what about the short? Would you believe it was worse? It was called Blekinge of the Dead. I think it was Swedish. It was basically a few teenagers filming themselves playing zombie and making dumb jokes for twelve minutes. Also, they stuck in some cheesy metal. WTF? If you can find it online, don’t watch it. You’ll be glad you didn’t.
My good friend (good friend in Internet terms, anyway; we’ve never met IRL, but the dude is awesome) Jay Clarke over at The Horror Section had a better time of it with his own contribution to ZMMM 3.0, The Horde. Go check it out and tell him I sent you.