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David M. Wallace,
Downtown Julie Brown
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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
I was immediately attracted to the concept of the film even though I suspected it was very low-budget. I think there is great potential in a gripping and profoundly touching zombie-human romance, provided it avoids most of the camp. Zombie Honeymoon doesn't succeed although it does have good points. It's played realistically, it takes time to establish that the 2 protagonists are passionately in love and it mostly avoids camp (but not totally). The newlywed husband gets attacked on the beach by a sick man coming out of the water. After a certain fright, the husband seems normal but gradual hints (and the trailer) tell us he might be slowly becoming a zombie.
Actually, the whole premise of the film hinges on the wife's reaction at the first discovery she cannot deny. The main actress was very good but the whole scene didn't seem quite right to me. Don't know if it was the writing or the male lead. However, one could go beyond that if other scenes later on didn't take us out of the story by their ridiculousness or unbelievability especially whenever the husband was in public. Some of the scenes seemed to drag on for no good reason such as the wife's car ride or the (boring) policeman's interrogation. On the other hand, the finale, starting with the candlelight diner had a few memorable moments such as the husband going about his "business" while the wife is locked in her room watching TV. Quite unnerving.
I know their financial means were likely quite limited but the constantly bloody face of the husband was more distracting than horrifying. The eventually blue-gray "zombie" makeup was pretty lacking in its different stages. I think the friends would have freaked out more during the palm reading session as the face of the husband had so badly deteriorated compared to earlier. The film does have bloody moments but nothing particularly gruesome. The camera doesn't linger and/or it's too dark. Unfortunately, although I think the initial concept could have made a very good romantic/psychological drama movie even with no budget, the uninspired writing, the conventional directing and most of the acting (except the wife) just didn't cut it.
Rating: 4.5 out of 10 (Poor with some highlights)
(2014 Edit: Since that review, I saw Warm Bodies that is the closest thing I've seen to the great zombie romance. Not quite there, but recommended. I've also reviewed it.
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