Colin (2010) – By Duane L. Martin

In the realm of independent film, making a film for $75 isn’t unheard of, but it’s not as common as one would expect, especially if that film falls under the zombie genre and requires blood, make up, etc…. Colin, from British writer/director Marc Price was in fact made for this paltry sum. So how did that work out? Well…

Colin is the story of, well…Colin. He’s a young British guy who was caught up in the zombie apocalypse and was subsequently attacked, bitten, and became one of the walking dead. The story is told mostly from his perspective as he wanders around as a zombie and also a bit from the perspective of his family as they capture him and try to get him to recognize them and revert to his former self, which of course, as is to be expected, didn’t work out so well.

This film has received a lot of love from a variety of reviewers including FHM, Film Star, Quiet Earth and several others. Unfortunately, and I really am sorry to have to say this, I won’t be added to that list for a wide variety of reasons.

First, before I get to the reasons this movie just didn’t work for me, let me compliment it on one thing. The make up and gore effects in the film were really well done and looked great for a film that was shot on a $75 budget, especially when you consider how many zombies we’re talking about in various scenes. There were quite a few of them, so when you add up the sheer numbers of people who needed make up, plus the extra stuff needed for the gore effects, making the film on a $75 budget was really quite an accomplishment.

Unfortunately however, there were a number of issues which just got in the way of me being able to enjoy this film. The very first, and one of the most major issues I was presented with in this film was the shaky camera style of shooting. In the opening scene, and in a large number of the scenes where there was any action going on, the camera was shaking all over the place, making it nearly impossible to see anything clearly. I realize this can be used either as a film making technique or as a way to disguise less than stellar effects, but its massive overuse in this film became incredibly annoying from the very first scene and only got progressively more annoying as it was used at various other points throughout the film.

Something else that hurt this film was the incredibly slow pacing. Now obviously the life of a shambling zombie isn’t going to be a blur of activity, but this film was loaded with interminably long and very slow scenes with really not all that much going on and focused on things that were really of very little consequence to the story. When there’s already an underdeveloped storyline that’s really not very interesting to begin with, having long and slow paced scenes as filler really doesn’t help matters much. The only real bright and interesting spot in the story is when what’s left of Colin’s family captures him and tries to get him to recognize them, and even that section of the film tends to drag quite a bit. Basically, I can sum it up this way, as this is what I was thinking as I was watching the film. This story could have worked as say, a tightly edited and better paced twenty minute short, but stretched out into 97 minutes of slow paced boredom, it was just too much.

I’m not going to go on and on hammering the film. Suffice it to say that despite the ingenuity of creating a story that follows the experiences a mindless zombie as its main character, the execution of that story could have been honed down considerably into a much better paced, more entertaining film. The idea was a cool one, but this particular film just didn’t work for me. I know a lot of reviewers loved this film, but unfortunately, I’m sorry to have to say that I personally just didn’t. My suggestion would be to skip this one, however, because of the number of glowing reviews it’s received from other sources, you may just want to check it out and decide for yourself. If you like it, great. If not, then you’ll probably fall into that camp of feeling the same about it as I did. I don’t really see a lot of in between with this film. You’ll most likely find yourself feeling very strongly one way or the other about it.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out the film’s website at http://www.colinmovie.com.