Monday, September 27, 2010

Colin and Undead Romance: A Movie Review

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*Here be spoilers.

Director/writer: Mark Price

The United Kingdom based Left Films has helped the independent zombie film Colin find distribution in North America. Mongrel Media is moving the film to DVD October 19th and Walking Shadows will do the same in the United States. Famous for be its small budget ($70), Colin is zombie film from the side of the infected. This film is a mostly fun watch, with some of the later scenes somewhat frustratingly slow. Creative, intriguing, and tragic in the final scene, Colin is worthy of a watch and as the zombie themed website The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse points out: "this is a relatively sympathetic portrait of the zombie" (Cory Casciato).

This is also a George A. Romero influenced film; these creatures of the dead shamble from film reel to film reel and while an infection could not spread through such geriatric movements, the personal story of a young man turning undead is what focuses the curiousity. Colin was a man with a future and a new love, but now girlfriends do not matter when an insatiable desire to eat flesh takes hold. This is what Colin primarily does throughout the film, as he seeks to end his cannibalistic innocence on grovelling uninfected civilians. Family members, friends and locals attempt to curb his appetite; however, this is all for not and only the last frames show any humanity in Colin's character.

Casciato mentions in his review that the lighting was unusually slow: "it is certainly lit like a $100 movie," but that was not the experience here. There were more problems with the unusually slow pacing, or long shots of inaction which moved this reviewer to tedious tears. Some shots of Colin staring at his family are simply too long: "and it hits an almost deadly lull about halfway through that slows the pace down to a crawl" (Casciato). Okay, Colin wants to eat his family now, not bond with them - we get it! In contrast, many of the earlier scenes and through the middle are filled with much action, bloodshed and war-like conditions. So the film seems to balance out a little.

One of the elements, or developing character arcs involves Colin and his new girlfriend, who he returns to in the final scene. She is somewhat smelly by this point and the zombie love story is something which could have been fleshed out a little more. Yet director and writer Mark Price has chosen to use this sub-plot as the twist ending, or coup de grace. What if a zombie couple went on the attack? Now that is love!

Colin shows that creativity is all that matters in film, with today's Capitalist driven economies generally demanding much larger budgets. The screener sent to this reviewer has a 40 minute documentary on the making of Colin and this will likely be on the two disc DVD when released October 19th. Initially exciting, somewhat boring near the end, but completing with a hauntingly sad ending, Colin is a film with depth, intelligence, and a sympathetic take on zombies. Catch this one on store shelves if you are a true deadhead!

Plot/story/writing: 7 (good intro' of Colin's effect on his family, -1 for not showing much of a backstory on the character, -2 for an undeveloped or tacked on love story).
Setting/realism/authenticity: 8 (suitable, believable, but not exceptionally interesting to look at -2)

Overall: 7.5 out of 10.

A review of the film by Casciato at The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse:

Colin Review at TIZA

The film is at Nowhere Fast Productions, where some of the awards for the film are listed:

Colin at Nowhere Fast (Production Co.)

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