Similarly, Zombies and Cigarettes (2009, Spain, 17min), also directed by a duo, Inaki San Roman & Rafa Martinez, takes the most familiar scenario imaginable – a zombie outbreak in a Spanish shopping mall which leads to a small group of survivors barricading themselves against the hordes – and uses it as something of a director’s show reel: it’s extremely well-shot and sharply edited, and it has gathered a raft of festival awards including some for best visual FX and best director. One can see why its flashy slickness would attract such attentions ... it may be the least original of any of the films included here, but it does at least attempt something interesting and new with the bitter-sweet cynicism of its conclusion, and the brief running time is perfectly judged for preventing it from outstaying its welcome.
|Zombies and Cigarettes (2009) Spain|
Duncan Laing’s Bitten (2008, UK, 6 min) is another downbeat effort with an intriguing and disturbing premise. Here we join a young woman, played by Claire Wilson, in the middle of a zombie infestation and after she has just been bitten and is awaiting her own imminent transformation in the familiar surroundings of her home. Tense, ugly and grim, this is a fraught meditation on the prospect of the loss of one’s own faculties -- a situation which, frankly, will face us all in some form or other eventually. It combines gruelling body horror with a thought-provoking contemplation of mortality, and is only let down by poor "pancake" zombie face make-up, which rather breaks its spell. Another low budget effort, Arise (2010, USA, 18 min), attempts to excuse its own shoddy splatter effects with recourse to a facetious line in silly humour. The annoyingly cliched Death Metal soundtrack and the deliberately bad gore which accompanies all the "action" throughout risks losing the goodwill of the viewer fairly quickly, but this does actually have a thoughtful payoff about parental responsibility and maturity behind a long line of suppurating zombie cadavers shuffling forth to be deprived of limbs when the hero’s proficiency with his work tools finds another use after the living dead invade his workshop. Not Even Dead (2009, USA, 5 min) examines the misguided urge to hang on to a loved one and hope that a cure can eventually be found for the zombie infection: David (Joseph Will) keeps his zombified wife(Treva Tegtmeier) chained up in the basement and illegally feeds her, convinced there is still some remnant of the woman he used to know preserved inside the salivating creature’s brain. This is a bleak little tale about the catastrophic repercussions of irrational, undying love. Unfortunately, well-enough staged as it is, it just doesn’t go anywhere you don’t already expect it to go to.
|Kidz (2010) Canada|
|The Book of Mormon (2007) USA|
|The Skin of Your Teeth (2009) USA|
|It Came from the West (2007) Denmark|
|Paris by Night of the Living Dead (2009) France|
|Dead Hungry (2009) UK|
RELEASING COMPANY: Monster Pictures/AVAILABILITY: Out Now/GENRE: Zombie Horror/FORMAT: DVD/REGION: 2 PAL/ASPECT RATIO: Various/DIRECTOR: Various/CAST: Various