by Evan ODell 3/14/09
(2008) Directed by Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel. Screenplay by Trent Haaga. Starring Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Candice Accola, and Jenny Spain.
I knew little about this one going in. Well, I knew it was written by Trent Haaga, frequent actor/writer for Troma and Full Moon Features. The kind of cheap, cheesy fare I was hoping I wasn't in store for with this. It turns out, that the film was far more ambitious than the mostly crap direct to video fare that those two companies are known for. I wish I could say I enjoyed it.
I thought the acting was competent. Even if the characters were mostly unlikeable. Shiloh Fernandez as Ricky was clearly the lead here, but his pining for the girl he couldn't have seemed only slightly less twisted than his buddy JT's unnatural desire for a zombie sex slave.
The co-directors have other features to their names, but this film just seemed like a first time outing. I thought it was too long, the kind of mistake a first time filmmaker, too close to his subject might make. It never feels cheap and seems competently shot. This is clearly in the horror/exploitation category, but takes forever to get going. Not something that genre fans are often forgiving of. You don't want to bore the audience. By the time the blood starts flowing, we're in the third act. The twenty-somethings as high school students didn't help either. Neither did an ending which was easy to see coming.
The zombie genre continues to expand at an alarming rate. Though rarely do any films challenge convention. This is one I should have seen coming if only for it's plausibility. Just because something is likely though, doesn't mean its the stuff of good movies. I'm not one of those people who believes that today's youth is morally bankrupt, but this movie does nothing to reverse that preconception for others.
JT (Noah Segan) and Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) are high school outcasts. Rickie longs for JoAnn (Candice Accola), his girlfriend in fourth grade, but her boyfriend is Johnny (Andrew DiPalma) the typical jock-jerk. One day while skipping class, JT and Rickie find a living dead girl (Jenny Spain) chained to a gurney in the basement of an abandoned hospital. Soon, JT is using it as his personal sex object and bragging rights by expanding the circle of who knows. All to Rickie's disgust as he only has eyes for JoAnn.