Ultimate Zombie Feast REVIEW
"I spy... something beginning with M."
Release Date: 8 October 2012
2003-2012 | 18 | 308 minutes | £14.99
Distributor: Monster Pictures
Operating on the principle of quantity over quality, this two-disc set of 16 zombie-themed shorts is less a feast, and more of a tapas of dishes that are mostly cold, unappetising or downright mouldy.
The two most substantial entries are also two of the best. The clumsily titled Zomblies (think Zomb-LIES – 47 minutes), which follows a squad of six “rangers” into a walled-off Cornwall, features impressively mounted action and a strong central performance. And the Utah-set The Book Of Zombie (64 minutes), which sees Mormon zombies disposed of using caffeinated drinks, occasionally dials into the same frequency as Peter Jackson’s early splatter flicks.
A couple of shorter efforts hit the target too. Videogamey bulletfest Paris By Night Of The Living Dead (12 minutes) has fun with French icons, demolishing the Eiffel Tower and cheekily blowing the heads off Amelie and Zinedine Zidane. Best of the lot is Dead Hungry, a droll, sweet 10-minuter told from the POV of a hapless zombie.
Of the other dozen entries, a few function adequately as directorial calling cards, but many are the sort of project best shared only with friends and family. Failings like wooden acting and laughable make-up are perhaps to be expected; what’s more disappointing is the widespread lack of wit or new ideas, which cost nothing. And while the international nature of the selection is impressive (judging by this, there must be tribes in the depths of the Amazon rainforest making zombie flicks…) mere exoticism is not a get-out-of-jail card: India’s Savages proves that friends-running-around-in-the-woods horrors are every bit as tedious when the wood is replaced with a jungle.
While the curatorial aims of Ultimate Zombie Feast – to bring the work of budding independent directors to a wider audience – are laudable, ultimately it suggests that the democratisation of filmmaking has done nothing to improve the ratio of wheat to chaff.
Ian Berriman twitter.com/ianberriman
Watch our favourite short from the collection, Dead Hungry.
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