Darren (Sheehan O’Heron) is a self absorbed filmmaker who’s trying to make a name for himself. He decides to travel to Georgia with his camera man (Orlando Vicente) and film his brother Rusty (Simon Sorrels) delivering flowers because Darren believes that flowers are there for every significant moment of our lives: birth, weddings and funerals. But as soon as Darren begins to film his pet project, the unthinkable happens: the zombies attack. So Darren, his camera man, Rusty and some others take shelter in Rusty’s flower shop. But after a while, they begin to realize that the zombie apocalypse won’t be as bad as everyone imagined. All they’ll really need to do is walk briskly to avoid the flesh eaters. So Darren announces to everyone that his film about the importance of flowers will go on after all – they’ll just film around the zombies.
More of a mockumentary than an actual zombie movie, “Pushin’ Up Daisies” is a solid 8 on the fun meter. Patrick Franklin’s directorial debut (he also wrote the film) is both clever and affecting. It’s hysterical watching Darren and his crew run around their home town and film Rusty delivering flowers. Everyone does his best to try and live a normal life, but of course that’s impossible because the zombies keep fouling everything up. My favorite scene has to be when Darren films Rusty delivering flowers to the town cemetery as dozens of families rebury their dead relatives. When the zombified remains of the town’s founding father escapes from his grave, all of the families that Darren is trying to film go running up to catch a glimpse of the local legend leaving the moviemaker frustrated and annoyed!
Sheehan O’ Heron is just right as the whiny, self centered Darren. All that he’s ever concerned about is his dopey film and O’Heron displays that me-first attitude effortlessly. Simon Sorrels is also great as Darren’s older brother Rusty. But my favorite performance in the film has to be Ken Osbourne as Mr. Emerson, a blind neighbor of Rusty’s who performs the narration for books for the blind. He also possesses an incredible gift for knowing the exact time of day! Osbourne is a panic.
While there is no gore and very few zombie attacks in the film, “Pushin’ Up Daisies” still manages to be a special kind of horror comedy that really tickles the funny bone. Patrick Franklin’s impressive debut film is smart, sassy and made with large dollops of wit. You should try to shuffle off to your local DVD palace and see if you can find a copy.