I have to admit I’m pretty over zombies and I don’t think I’m alone in that. Just like the creatures themselves the genre has been done pretty much beyond the point of death. So when a fifty minute “short” from a few years back came my way I put it aside until last. Finally I tossed it on to kill some time, and got a pleasant surprise, this is actually a solid film, it’s a pity they couldn’t stretch it it to feature length.
The plot will be familiar to anyone who’s seen 28 Days, (or Weeks), Later or even Doomsday for that matter. The world has been devastated by a plague, the remaining population has built a huge wall to protect themselves. The other side is filled with zombies and apart from the occasional military mission, avoided. When a squad on a training mission runs into something unexpected a team of elite operatives are sent to get them out. What they find is a new and more deadly kind of zombie. A fight to complete the mission and get back alive ensues.
While the plot is nothing new, it’s the execution and production values that stand out. There was obviously a lot of care and effort went into this film. The characters act like soldiers, not like a bunch of random people in uniforms. They use defensive positioning and tactics not just run and shoot off seemingly endless rounds, somebody actually did some research for a change. The scenes themselves are also well choreographed and shot, not just shaky camera footage of a bunch of extras running at people. The effects, while there aren’t a lot of them are well done with the exception of some CGI splatter. The wall itself is a very well done piece of CGI of old school optical I’m not sure which but it looks convincing whatever it is. And they actually pull off a small air strike in a convincing manner.
With all of this talent and resources on display it’s a pity the film is such an odd length. To long to be put in front of a feature at festivals, but to short for distribution on its own. If they could have made it just a bit longer it would have had a good chance of finding success in the DVD market. Instead it vanished and to date the only other film IMDB lists from director David Reynolds is another well regarded short from 2012, The Underwater Realm, which I now need to find. However he seems to have found success doing commercials with his company Realm Pictures, so not an unhappy ending I suppose.
The producers have finally put it on YouTube so by all means check it out it’s a fun, fast paced thrill ride and takes less than an hour of your time.
And the film itself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH1bzTZ5XMo