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Kevin J. O'Connor
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David M. Wallace,
Downtown Julie Brown
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A boy declares his love for his girlfriend, only to die the same night. He is brought back to life by his mother as a flesh-craving zombie, who sires more teen undead while trying to control his, er, appetite for his beloved.
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 saw this at the Torino Film Festival a couple of months ago.
The director introduced the movie before the screening. He's a nice New Jersey guy, who almost could not believe he had been invited to Torino with his second feature film (the first one's title is called "The Homeboy" and it is briefly seen here in a funnily self-deprecating scene at a video-rental (a furious client returns it to the clerk and yells his money back - but he has to pay for returning it late). "Zombie Honeymoon", said the director, "is probably the first zombie-movie ever to be based on personal experience".
The audience was ready to laugh, but there was nothing funny about that: the plot is an effort to handle the untimely demise of the director's brother-in-law, who died in a surfing accident shortly after getting married. The premise of the movie, therefor, is telling the story of two people trying to remain together against all possible odds.
The film's protagonist, Danny, is a surfer as well - but what gets him (temporarily) killed is not an accident: like a rotting pal of Venus Anadiomene, a zombie walks out from the sea to directly attack the poor guy and vomit black goo straight into his mouth. Then he falls dead over him. Rushed unconscious to the hospital, our hero also dies, only to come back to life a few minutes later. Problem is, after coming back home he finds himself desperately hungry for human flesh - which understandably proves a shock to his young wife Denise.
While presenting the film, Gebroe introduced it as a cross between a John Cassavetes piece and "Night of the Living Dead" - which is a fitting description for "Zombie Honeymoon". Although the photography does leave a lot to be desired (the film is all shot on digital video, and the choice of a hand-held camera style proves somewhat a bit annoying instead of contributing to the realistic effect ), the dialog and the interaction between the two unfortunate newlyweds are all absolutely believable - and even moving at times. Graham Sibley (Danny) is OK, but the selling point to the film is Tracy Coogan's Denise - not only she's beautiful: she is also great in totally selling the story.
Maybe the film does lose some steam halfway through, when the gruesome suppers of Danny start becoming a little repetitive. However, the final 20 minutes are genuinely poignant - starting with a great scene where Danny, after eating some of his victims, spends a long time in the dark of his and Denise's home playing with one of those arcade games from the 80s, while Denise, devastated, comes close to him and watches him play the game without uttering a single word.
I won't spoil the ending of the best zombie romance since the underrated "Return of the Living Dead III", but any Blues Brothers fan should love the way Gebroe uses the song "Sometimes is Hard to be a Woman" - we sure kept humming it for the rest of the evening, while discussing if death couldn't be seen as the ultimate handicap. Do check this film out, it's worth your while.
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