That time of year again, six friends and myself attended the ‘Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!’ short film night at the 6th Annual A Night of Horror film festival. The festival this year is being run in conjunction with Fantastic Planet, therefore there are more films and shorts, however they are an equal mix of Sci-Fi and Horror. The shorts program we attended consisted of ten short zombie flicks of varying length and quality.
As with last year, rather than review them all and give you my opinion I decided to poll my friends to get a more balanced response to the screening… this is the result of that poll. The originally programmed final short was the fantastic Play Dead (See the trailer HERE), however due to a delivery delay it was replaced at the last moment by Brutal Relax which was a favourite from the H. P. Lovecraft session.
Year of the Child (Dir: Adam Simpson / 7m / NZL / 2011) 2/5 Stars A paint-sniffing teenager races home to save his sister from some extremely fast, zombie like crazy people. Frenetic chase movie, however most of the crowd were underwhelmed.
Bats in the Belfry (Dir: Joao Alves / 7m / PRT / 2010) 2½/5 Stars Animated cowboys & vampires as an homage to Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns and bloodsucking monsters. Nice style, very much in the same vein as Samurai Jack.
Rotting Hill (Dir: James Cunningham / 4m / NZL / 2011) 3½/5 Stars Rotting Hill is an excellent short film about love and zombies! Parody of the famous movie “Notting Hill” but this time with living dead, this zombie short film was completed in twelve weeks by the students of the Media Design School. Awesome short film, very funny and nailed some great zombie touchstones.
Zombirama (Dir: Ariel Lopez and Nano Benayon / 7m / ARG / 2011) 3½/5 Stars Ariel Lopez Zombirama is a 7-minute “whimsical” mash-up of animation comedy and horror featuring potato-faced zombies that go around doing zombie stuff. Delivered in an early 80’s VHS style. Great fun, got better as it went on, more than could be said for…
Just Say No (Dir: Abiel Bruhn, John Rocco / 22m / USA / 2011) 2½/5 Stars Darius stumbles upon two mangled corpses and a 2 pound bag of pot, apparently the remnants of a drug deal gone wrong, he swallows his morals and steals the drugs, planning on flipping them and leaving town with his girlfriend Vanessa in one short night. But after he gets his clients amassed for an impromptu party, he quickly finds out that the weed has some rather harsh side effects – loss of motor function, pale or clammy skin, and the insatiable hunger for human flesh… way too long.
Early Evening of the Meth Head Hipsters (Dir: Jonny Fleet / 7m / CAN 2010) 2½/5 Stars A Whistler couple’s trip to the city takes an unfortunate turn when they run into a bicycle gang of meth head hipsters with a taste for blood. Can they be saved? Well, we hope not.. stared well and featured some nice bloodletting.
Fitness Class Zombie (Dir: Chris Walsh / 1m / CAN / 2011) 1½/5 Stars According to the director Chris Walsh, this short animation addresses a serious issue that our society faces today- growing undead obesity. A fun one-note short.
Hell Blaster Bastards (Dir: Gabriel Bouvier, Remi Bouvier / 9m / JPN / 2011) 1½/5 Stars In the deserted island, the man is buried in the sand up to his head. Four shadowy figures emerge, the bloody bastards of the title… Cannibal, Brain crushing, Japanese tits out, mental short film… Overlong and pointless but elicited the odd laugh throughout the crowd. The only short to receive a couple of ‘0’ scores.
Dead Friends (Dir: Stephen Martin / 11m / CAN / 2011) 3¼/5 Stars Nine year old Lola Turtle is an odd and lonely little girl whose only companion is her treasured and tattered stuffed bunny, Mister Wimperbottom…until she finds a way to grow her very own ‘DEAD’ best friend. It’s a bedtime story filled with blood, guts, and gardening… Really well done, excellent make-up and effects.
Brutal Relax (Dir: David Munoz, Adrian Cardona and Rafa Dengra / 15m / ESP /2010) 4/5 Stars Mr Olivares has already recovered, but now he needs a vacation. To go to some heavenly place where he can relax and blithely enjoy himself. However, when a group of blood-thirsty (LoveCraft style) monster-aliens appear and kill everyone on the beach, Mr Olivares takes matters into his own hands. Best kills of the night, using a bloodied childs corpse as a bludgeon… best audience response.
Overall a fun evening, however the shorts on display weren’t as good as the best of last year, there was nothing as good as The Living Want Me Dead. We had a laugh. Two notes for the organisers, most of these shorts are almost 1 year old now and readily available on YouTube, also most of the films were too dark, washed out and had little to no sound level control. I realise that the quality of the movie files aren’t high end, however cutting them together with an audio pass isn’t difficult to do.