What happens when a group of friends decide they want to get together and make a horror movie? I’d imagine the result would be something close to Granny of the Dead. I’m not sure what kind of budget they had to make the film, but I’d imagine it wasn’t very much, and the talent on the screen doesn’t really scream the next box office star, but the film has charm, the kind of charm that they did the film not because of the paycheck but instead they just wanted to have fun and make a movie. I’m hoping that is the case with the film; if so, then I can forgive a lot. For instance, have you ever seen the fan film that is a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark? Is it great? No, but it has so much charm, and you can see how much fun they had making it that you want to watch more. That’s the vibe I got from this film, and again, if that’s the case, bravo for simply getting a movie done and into the hands of critics across the pond.
The set up is simple; a strange supernatural force has seemed to take hold of the elderly individuals of the small Welsh town and in the process has created a zombie outbreak. Ed (Marcus Carroll) wakes up to find his grandmother has turned, and is cooking up his cat but turns her hungry eyes onto him. He escapes to his room and calls up his friend who seems excited by the zombie outbreak and enjoys dispensing his “how to survive the zombie apocalypse” advice.
The film jumps around the town where we see more of Ed’s friends battling it out with the zombies. It’s hard to not think about Shaun of the Dead when watching this, especially in a moment where Ed decides he’s going to attempt to rescue his stranded girlfriend. The jokes seem a bit forced, but thankfully the zombie kills are a nice distraction. Considering the scale of the production, this does have a high body count.
On the technical side of things, there comes a point where you simply have to wonder if the director cares about a tripod or if he’s just in love with A) shaky cam and B) canted angles. If one were making a drinking game where someone were to take a shot each time a canted angle appears, well, it’s safe to say the person would die of alcohol poisoning. There are points towards the end where the shot seems blown out or not properly white-balanced despite the color grading.
While I’m not a fan of zombies that can run, this film seems to have no problem with their zombies running and actually have the ability to ambush their prey. It works for this film; after all, if you are taking this seriously, I believe you missed the title. While there is plenty of tongue-in-cheek in the film, it’s very camp and does give me a Troma vibe.
What I hope comes from this film is that the writer and director Tudley James does something a little more stripped down and perhaps more serious. There are moments of promise sprinkled through the film. Hopefully this is his Bad Taste, and he will continue to deliver fun micro-budget films till that breakout hit comes. This may not be a hit, but there is enough talent here to expect good things down the road.