Holiday of the Dead (2008) – By Duane L. Martin

 Holiday of the Dead is the story of this biker lookin’ dude and his wife who have taken up residence in this house out in a rural area amidst an invasion of zombies. He’s got his guns, and she goes out shopping occasionally and says that if you act like one of them they’ll pretty much leave you alone. That is, the dumb ones will leave you alone. There are smart ones though who are capable of a lot more intelligence and deductive reasoning. Those are the ones you gotta watch out for.

What I just said there basically describes the whole movie. The guy is all gung ho about killing all the zombies that come around, and occasionally has to fight off some smart ones, a couple of which set the bedroom on fire.

During all this, there are newscasts spread throughout the film that become more and more desperate as the newscaster guy eventually ends up down in the basement of their building with whoever’s left building themselves a shelter and reporting from there.

Now for the review part…

This is a first for me. This is the only zombie movie I’ve ever seen with no zombies in it…at all! Literally there is not one zombie in this film. There are only like four people in this film. The guy, his wife, the newscaster and one other sports reporter.

The acting on the part of everyone was all relatively decent, even though it tended to sound recited and somewhat unnatural much of the time.

Oddly enough, where this film really shined was in the visuals. The computer graphics used on the news looked very professional and snazzy for the most part, and other graphics were used to lay in backgrounds and such. My only complaint with that was that I could see the green screen around the news caster. It wasn’t quite key’d right, and he had kind of a green aura around him. There were some other visuals that looked kinda hokey too, but generally they were good.

The sound, editing and camera work were all pretty good in this film. The editing moved the film along at a nice pace and the film overall wasn’t longer or shorter than it needed to be. The film also includes a bit of a surprise at the end, which I’m still trying to figure out. I’ve come up with a thought about it, but I’d rather not say, because if I’m wrong, I don’t wanna look stupid.

For a zombie film with no zombies at all in it, this one ended up being pretty good. Not awesome, but pretty good. I do think putting some real zombies in it would have improved it considerably however, because the whole time I was watching it I kept thinking…, "Where are the zombies?" The lack of actual zombies in this film will probably put off some fans of the genre. Others might be interested in checking it out to see how it was done. It all depends on individual tastes. (Please see the update below for a revision on this opinion.)

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out the One Shot One Kill Productions website at http://www.1s1kproductions.com.

Update:

I just actually got confirmation from the film maker that what I thought about what was really going on in the film was indeed true. Now that I know that what I though was indeed the case, I think actually adding real zombies in would have been detrimental to what he was trying to achieve. So ignore what I said above, but I’m still leaving it there as a reference because I think it’s probably the conclusion a lot of people will come to until they realize what’s really going on in the film.