These days one look at amazon reveals that there seem to be at least 834 new low budget zombie movies being released on cheap DVD EVERY MINUTE. I wrote this seven or eight years ago when such finds were extremely rare and usually had to be sourced from America.
"No-one remembers the guy who filmed the Hindenburg disaster, but we all
remember the footage."
I totally love zombie films of all
shapes and sizes but there is a reason why I like some way more than others. A
lot of people rate Lucio Fulci's 'Zombie' (AKA 'Zombi 2' AKA 'Zombie Flesheaters') very highly and I do like it a lot
for the gore factor but my favourites are the ones that drive home the
apocalyptic message through exploring the reaction of characters as the world
around them is falling apart. The first ten outstanding minutes of the remake of Dawn of the Dead (and
the incredible credits sequence set to Johnny Cash's When the Man Comes Around) is a great example of what I'm talking about. My
favourite bits of Romero's first two zombie flicks are the media bits, perplexed
newscasters struggling to report on and rationalise the end of the world. It
makes for fantastic drama. The Ddddy of them all of course is the original Dawn of the Dead with the
chaotic TV studio scenes and that's the perspective that 'Feeding The Masses'
attempts to tackle, that of the weary TV workers feebly attempting to document
disaster in the face of personal danger, conflicting emotions and government
Our main protagonists are..
Torch, cameraman for a small
TV station in Providence, Rhode Island, he wants to record the end of the world
for posterity instead of filming features on the effects of the zombie plague on
mom-and-pop businesses such as coffee shops;
Sherry, aspiring TV journalist
who wants to be a serious journalist and save the lives of viewers by
reporting accurately the true extent of the zombie outbreak;
engineer who hasn't slept in days and is feeling a bit under the weather, more
so since the Government took over the TV station;
Roger, military escort to
the TV crew, he REALLY wants to get in Sherry's pants.
collapses around them James ends up in charge of the Station under the close eye
of a government agent with dreams of TV stardom, Roger and Sherry find they are
not on the same wavelength and Torch leaves his weed at home. Meanwhile the army
are shooting everything that moves, the virus is becoming more virulent by the
day, and one of the gang is hiding some disturbing fetishes.
lost my wife to cancer six months ago it was the worst moment of my life...
until I saw her reanimated body being dreagged down Main Street behind a
Customer testimonial for www.findadeadspouse.com.
As soon as the film opens it is
obvious that this is no 'Dawn Of The Dead', it looks and sounds exactly like the
indie film it is but that just seems to add to its charm, its all very Troma in
fact, but Troma on Digital Video and with a more sophisticated sense of humour.
It's a good job too because it's the sense of humour and sharp script that
elevate the film well above other, way more expensive efforts at the zombie
genre. The faux advertisements that punctuate the action are hilarious and
reminiscent of Ed Neumeier's darkly witty ads in Robocop and Starship Troopers,
and the film delights in taking stabs at the Fox News obsession with maps and
alert levels and assuring us that the government is in control and has our best
interests at heart.
As in The Stink of Flesh the acting performances vary
in quality but overall are buoyed up by the deliriously wild-eyed and
infectiously energetic Billy Garberina. The gore is functional rather than
spectacular and a few cheap CGI effects simply do not work but all of that is
largely irrelevant thanks to smart writing by Trent Haaga and creative direction
from Richard Griffin. The DVD extras are great and provide a cool insight
into the lengths indie film-makers will go to to see their vision come to
Bottom line, if you expect gloss on your movies and cannot suspend
disbelief when confronted with a bit of cheese then avoid. However if you want
to watch a refreshing take on a beloved genre and can forgive low production
values for the sake of good gags and entertaining characters then you may just
find that, like me, you've stumbled across eighty minutes of fried gold.