‘Til Death (2014) – By Kirsten Walsh

A dark comedy about four unhappily married husbands who wake up to gruesome surprise the morning after agreeing to kill each others’ wives. Find out what happens when lives end, but marriage goes on… and on.

A funny, cheesy, ridiculous story line keeps the audience entertained throughout “’Til Death”. A short film that clocks in just under twenty minutes, it plays on some pretty relevant topics that are hot button issues in our society today. From hiring someone to kill a wife to the sob stories the guys tell that lead them to wanting to kill their lives, the story hits home in both the entertaining and fun ways.

The film opens on the four leads, who all seem to be the stand in actors for the gang in “The Hangover”. Quickly, its established that the guys hate their wives, and its resolved that they want them dead. The pacing moves pretty quickly along, and **SPOILER ALERT** they kill their wives. But that’s just in the first six minutes. The wives don’t stay dead. In fact, they come back in the best possible ways- with knives sticking out of their heads and plastic bags wrapped around them! Put in that situation, they act out the only way they can- with tears streaming and screams howling.

The story is hilarious. The script is excellent, but much like the standard comedic film, everything is told in the action and reactions of the actors. Director Jason Tostevin and writer Randall Greenland have worked on a handful of projects together, so its easy to see how seamless their flow has become as far as line delivery and shot design. The actors pull off the well written set up meticulously, with sarcasm, wit, and exaggeration. As the guys attempt to figure out how to deal with their zombie wives, the story just gets more complicated as one of the resolutions is to continue killing their wives until they stay dead. While that doesn’t work, their ultimate resolution is played off well and leaves the audience wanting more.

Although it has played at several zombie film festivals and won “Best Zombie Film” awards, I’m on the fence about calling it a zombie film. Yes, the wives come back from the dead, but isn’t the definition of a zombie someone who is “infected” with something that makes them come back? Or in the Romero sense, if hell is full, then the dead would walk the earth? This film does raise some questions in that aspect then- but that’s just me reading FAR TOO MUCH into it.

At a quick clip, the pace never gives the audience a break, which works for the benefit of the film. It is an extremely enjoyable piece, with straight forward cinematography and decent lighting for the handful of locations they switch to throughout the film. The music was the only aspect that hit a bit of a road bump for me, with most of the songs being original and unique (especially the end credits song). But during the bar scene in the beginning of the film, the strings music has the synth sound that was indicative of the 90’s, and is somewhat distracting in between the guys relaying their heartbreak stories about their evil wives. While it only lasted for a minute, it didn’t detract from the overall of the film.

Would I watch this film again? I totally did, a few times. The acting really sold it for me, from the husbands to the wives (especially the crispy wife, played by Alycia Yates- who harkens back to a young, hip Fran Drescher). I would definitely try to catch this award winning film at a film festival near you!

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