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David M. Wallace,
Downtown Julie Brown
Zombie Honeymoon is a romantic horror film about a young married couple, madly in love, on their honeymoon. One day on the beach, the groom Danny is attacked and killed by a man who rises up out of the water with no explanation, leaps on top of him, and vomits blood into his mouth. Danny is resuscitated ten minutes later, and seems to look and act totally normal. However, his wife Denise finds out that that's not the case at all. It turns out that Danny has become a zombie. However, instead of becoming a "Night Of The Living Dead"-style creature right off the bat, he disintegrates gradually, in a manner akin to cancer or AIDS. He and his wife Denise do their best to cope with his slipping away, not to mention the fact that he can't stop killing and eating people. As their best friends arrive for a weekend visit, she makes him promise her that they're off-limits. He agrees, but finds it more and more difficult to control himself. She hangs in there because he's the love of her life, ... Written by
In a genre so inundated with formulaic, excessively grotesque "can you top this" shock-gore, I found this movie to be a welcome addition to the Zombie annals. Really, if you think about this, no one has attempted to do what Gebroe has done--create a dramatic/romantic zombie film. There have been elements in others, but no one has shot this high before.
First of all, what made this movie work for me, was that I bought the love story. This is a credit to both Gebroe's writing and the actors. Not only do I not agree with the venomous accusation put forth by the immature hate-mongers that the characters/performances were "flat", I was truly surprised at how believable and charming the characters were. In the world of Indies, performances in movies with a Digital format have a nasty habit of looking transparent (maybe it's the loss of the beautiful illusion conjured by the depth and saturation of 35mm). In this movie, however, Graham and Tracy make the love real between Danny and Denise, with none of the affectations that could have prevented this from coming across. I even liked David Wallace's "Buddy" and Tonya Cornelisse's "Nikki". Sure, they're campy best-friend fixtures, but there's a refreshing likability about their performances.
The real treasure of this flick, and the most intriguing genre aspect is the progression of Danny's necrosis and how it is strikingly captured in both the direction, performance(s) and special effects. Graham Sibley's Danny is frighteningly accurate--rarely do we see an attempt to humanize someone undergoing this horrific metamorphosis. The apologetic tone in his voice when he's pleading with Denise to help him is absolutely sincere. And the scene around the toilet bowl is almost as emotionally painful as it is revolting. Tracy's (Denise's) reactions to Danny's downward spiral have the authentic desperation of someone who is manically trying to shield themselves from a hideous truth. It's like being married to a drug-addict or someone who is mentally ill--you love them so goddamn much, you can't bring yourself to admit the presence of their destructive pathos.
From a Direction standpoint, the movie is remarkably sharp. It starts slowly, but builds such a palpable amount of tension, you find yourself short of breath at certain points. The last 45 minutes are as thrilling as anything I've seen in the last year. The scene where he's standing there, playing R.B.I. baseball with those soul-less, impassive eyes...it's unnerving watching someone's life force slowly being drained from them. The textured, psychological use of the mirrors in the Bedroom during the tense climax scene. The subtlety used in conveying Danny's increasingly conflicted view of Denise--helplessly trying to maintain the last vestige of his old self and the love they shared while trying to silence the demoniacal sublime satisfaction offered by devouring her flesh.
Admittedly, I am a big fan of contemporary genre revision, so I am not surprised why I liked this movie so much. Whether it's Altman with McCabe and Mrs. Miller or Polanski with Chinatown, the prospect of working within a familiar genre blueprint and still managing to transcend those narrow constraints usually makes for compelling cinema. Zombie Honeymoon observes this revisionist recipe quite well. And while it may not be (or pretend to be) either of those films mentioned above and Mr. Gebroe may not be on the level of Polanski and Altman yet, there is certainly an abundance of talent evident in this film and a bright future for those involved.
And, yes, in agreement with previous postings, I believe that "fofamreturns" and "rise4289" (the negative responses to this film) are one in the same person. The mis-spelling of "waist" and the dual use of the "12-year old analogy" clearly give that away...empty negative rhetoric from malicious people is nothing new in IMDb, but it is still just as infuriating and unnecessary.
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