For me, I’ve never understood the fascination behind zombies unless it involves Milla Jovovich (See Resident Evil). They are undead, lumber around, make strange noises and have a primal urge to eat brains. So, admittedly I saw Colin in my review pile and mostly shrugged. Another zombie movie, *twirl finger*. However, after reading the back jacket, I realized this one had something more: it was told from the zombie’s point of view.
Colin (played by Alastair Kirton) walks into his house and closes the door. He calls for Damien, presumably his roommate. We hear gunshots in the background and a general ruckus. Colin walks over to the sink and starts to wash his hands. He notices a steady flow of blood down his arm. That’s when he pulls back his sleeve to reveal a massive wound.
Colin barely has anytime to consider the wound before Damien (played by Leigh Crocombe) comes up behind him and bites him on the neck. Damien has become a full-fledged zombie. They struggle before Colin is able to find a knife and kill his undead roommate. However, the fight has left Colin in a terrible state. He tends to his wounds and knows that the worst is coming.
We see our protagonist start to react violently to the bites on his body. Colin starts to change and soon he is crashing into the walls of his house in pain and anguish. He falls out the window and dusts himself off. Colin now has the traditional zombie walk and his senses dulled as he walks into the wasteland. People are fighting nearby with these zombies and there is death and gore all over the place.
Suddenly somebody runs over Colin with a shopping cart. He gets up, mostly unharmed as he continues his slow walk. He watches bodies eaten by other zombies and then a man falls from a ledge and into a dumpster. Bleeding, the man looks on helplessly until Colin decides to take his first bite. He has tasted blood and this new zombie’s hunger will only increase as time goes on.
But this zombie does have family still alive and unchanged in this vast wasteland. His sister, Linda (played by Daisy Aitkens) and her boyfriend (played by Tat Whalley) are nearby and actually capture Colin to see what they can do for him. But how much can they do for him? He’s already turned zombie and with every second that passes, Linda and her boyfriend put themselves further into the danger zone. What will become of Colin in this tragic tale?
The idea of a sympathetic zombie figure is not a new one. In fact, the original Day of the Dead, a similar idea was used with Bub. However, what sets this apart is that the story is told from Colin or the zombie’s point of view. Almost everything is as he would see it as he journeys out into the vast wasteland. To be honest I only had one tiny problem with the movie. It moved too fast from human to zombie.
Most horror movies will tell us that the zombie transformation is pretty quick, sometimes simultaneously. However, I think they missed an opportunity here to delay the transformation. Biting and killing a human should take some time to develop so we can have a deeper attachment to the character. Instead Colin takes only about half an hour before he’s looking for brains. There is a fine line I suppose between boring and attachment but I think about 20 minutes could have done wonders.
On the flip side, the actors do a fantastic job of selling their role. Alastair Kirton gets over so much with so little dialog, it is pretty impressive. The other characters such as Linda and her boyfriend get over their bit parts into ones that could have easily developed a sub story given a longer movie. The ending I also thought was a brilliant piece of cinema once you understood what was going on. I would very much like to see what the director Marc Price could do with a bigger budget.
The video is in 1.33:1 fullscreen presentation. Since most of the work was done with a handheld camcorder, we shouldn’t expect too much here. The major issue I had with the camera work was action scenes. For some reason, the action scenes had the jittery camera effect where it would shake constantly. It is so bad that you can’t even be sure of the action going on.
It is hard to figure out if that was done on purpose, but it is not a pleasant effect. Colors are decent considering the source but it never really compliments the action going on. Washing out is also prevalent and the full screen presentation doesn’t do anybody any favors either. Basically, the film is watchable but with some difficulty.
For the audio portion, we get a 5.1 English Dolby Digital track (also included is a mix for Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0). Again, we shouldn’t expect too much here but what we get is better than the video presentation. There is hardly any dialog to speak of unless you count grunts, yells and other guttural sounds. The music is odd at certain moments but it actually fits and sets the mood for the film. Sound effects usually include gun shots and other bumps but they can be described as simple background noise. No subtitles are included.
- Audio Commentary: This commentary has Marc Vincent Price (if that isn’t a horror movie making name, I don’t know what is), actor Alastair Kirton, and Leigh Crocombe who doubled as Damien but also worked behind the scenes. It is certainly a good listen for anybody looking to make a low budget horror film. There are many moments of brevity and it certainly helps you understand some of the more important scenes in the movie (like the ending). Required listening if you enjoyed it at all.
So this zombie tale ends about a man who descends the short slope into madness and tasty brains. The story does a great job of giving us a sympathetic character even if they should have taken a little more time to show the transformation. The disc isn’t much to look at with mediocre video and audio but when you consider the budget, the emphasis has to be overwhelmingly on the story being told.
I recommend this to zombie enthusiasts in hope that somebody will give this man a bigger budget to work with. He could do wonders, but mainly I just hope for a stationary camera for the action scenes. Marc Vincent Price does a great job, he just needs more time to perfect his craft. It is my sincere hope that he gets that opportunity.