|Index||7 reviews in total|
This film has done what so many short films and feature films fail to
do. it's created a world of its own that has depth. it's created
characters with believable actions and reactions. and it creates a free
flowing story that progresses naturally through the film.
i've read several reviews that complain about the amount of cussing that the kids do in the film. if this offends you, then you're probably out of your depth watching a genre film to begin with, and if you don't think this is realistic behaviour then you don't know kids (real kids). if you left a handful of kids to their own devices in a post apocalyptic world, what do you think they'd get up to? they'd torture zombies with whatever tools they can get their hands on. they'd swear. they'd drink beer. they'd do anything they wanted, particularly the things they'd been told never to do.
i can't explain how impressed i was by this short film, and i sincerely hope it leads to great success and further features from the writers and director.
This short accomplishes what mainstream Hollywood-- more often than not-- fails to do in 2 1/2 hrs. You have a solid grasp of every character in the film. You develop sympathy and disgust, you see what makes them tick. And everyone of them is genuine. Maybe even the zombie. The kids are believable, and in fifteen minutes you have a full understanding of how complicated they are, and a genuine feel for their complications. To convey that in fifteen minutes of silly whimsy is truly a work of genius. It also provided a solid sense of place and the social circumstances surrounding what truly is a complete story. No mean feat. I loved it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Zombie horror has become so exhausted and clichéd as of late that it's becoming exceedingly hard to find any fresh and original takes on this particular premise. Director/co-writer Spencer Susser gives the ol' lethal walking dead flesh-eaters bring about the end of the world as we know it story a much-needed potent and invigorating kick in the pants by focusing on how said apocalypse would have a profound impact on a handful of kids left to fend for themselves sans adult supervision. Naturally, said tykes would lose almost all residual traces of decent humanity and behave in the worst manner imaginable by degenerating into savagery (one particularly sadistic teenager gleefully tortures a hapless tied-up zombie), swearing excessively, and drinking beer. Moreover, there's a sweet central romance with the awkward Jimbo (well played by Brad Ashby) pining for the lovely Sarah Jane (a fine performance by the beguiling Mia Wasikowska, who went on to portray the title character in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland"!). But it's the sudden moments of raw and vicious violence that provide an extra hard-hitting edge, with an especially disturbing conclusion in which Sarah Jane proves to be the toughest of the bunch. Cinematographer Adam Arkapaw gives the picture an effectively gray'n'gloomy look while the opening smooth tracking showing a corpse-strewn suburban wasteland is truly striking and impressive. Michael Lira's spare droning score likewise does the trick. The use of the cutesy ditty "Like a Lollipop in a Candy Shop" over the ending credits is simply brilliant. Why, this short even manages the remarkable feat of making the zombie (Richard Mueck in gnarly rotting skull-faced make-up) a rather pitiable figure as he's senselessly brutalized by the kids. Highly recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"I Love Sarah Jane" is an Australian 15-minute short film that takes place in a world where zombies are apparently nothing really abnormal anymore. This was made 7 years ago, so 2 years before "The Walking Dead". People who enjoy this show can check this one here out as well. Writer and director Spencer Susser is mostly known for his work on Joseph Gordon-Levitt's "Hesher". In terms of the story, this could have been better I think. The crush of the male protagonist on Sarah Jane occasionally feels really just side-action to the zombie plot. And it would have been actually fairly interesting to find out in detail about what happened to the father. They threw us an interesting quote, but sadly did not elaborate on it whatsoever. Anyway, this film is an interesting example on how differently careers can develop. Wasikowska is one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood right now from her age group, Brad Ashby has never acted in another movie before or after this one. It's obvious he is only second fiddle here to the title character. All in all, not a particularly great film though and only worth a watch for huge fans of zombie movies.
I Love Sarah Jane (2008)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Nice short film from Australia about a small group of kids living in a post apocalyptic world where one of them wants to be with the lovely Sarah Jane. While his buddies stay outside torturing a zombie, he'd much rather be inside with her. There's not too much to this short but for what it is it remains mildly entertaining from start to finish. I liked the idea of having a group of kids being the last people on Earth and I think the film benefits from having a rather fun way of them picking on a zombie like we'd normally just see them picking on a dorky kid. The zombie is tied up and can't defend itself so we see them slapping him around and even taking a weed eater to its face. The movie is well directed and the kid performances aren't too bad. We get some mild gore for horror fans as well as a nasty kill.
I remember seeing this film back in 2008 around the time when it came out. I really liked it back then. Mostly because it's very minimalistic style. And I hugely liked Zombie movies (I still do, but not the modern fast zombies), so I had a chance to revisit the old memories. Zombie films were already overdone in 2008 and now the genre is finally out of juice. 'I Love Sarah Jane' somehow remains one of the few good modern zombie films, although the zombie apocalypse isn't in the main focus (probably because of the low budged). This film rather tells us story about orphaned kids and of course the first real love. And it is very hard not to love Sarah Jane (Mia Wasikowska) who looks strong, but is vulnerable inside, and can be pretty cruel if needed. If you are able to look pass at some minor flaws (the CGI special effects are not quite top notch), it is quite enjoyable short film from already tired zombie genre.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This short film is like THE LORD OF THE FLIES meets OMEGA MAN....with
lots and lots and lots of cussing. The film begins with a 13 year-old
kid on a bicycle riding through a town where the homes are mostly
destroyed, bodies lie in the road torn apart and burned out hulks of
cars are strewn about the road. Some sort of apocalyptic event has
obviously occurred and soon you see that a zombie plague has destroyed
society--leaving some kids but no adults. And, like THE LORD OF THE
FLIES, the kids mostly do nothing productive. One loathsome teen spends
his time torturing a zombie who is chained up and the rest just stand
back and watch. However, the boy at the beginning of the film goes in
the house and tries to strike up a conversation with a young lady.
After an awkward attempt at conversation, the two go outside to see the
bully blowing up the zombie--but, of course, this backfires and results
in a rather grisly ending.
While there are lots of cool elements to the film and it sure could have been great, the overall production had me feeling like the whole thing was a definite miss. Despite great zombie special effects and some interesting plot elements, seeing nasty teens curse non-stop like drunken sailors isn't my idea of entertainment. Sure, in such an awful world, it would be understandable to have some cursing (heck, if I saw a zombie I'd surely let out an amazing torrent of epithets)--but to have practically every other word be "f-this" and "f-that" gets very old and shows a lack of discipline or respect for the audience (unless you only want to appeal to a minority of the viewers). Why in recent years independent film makers feel that dialog like this is "edgy" or "hip" is beyond me--it just shows a lack of imagination. And this is a terrible shame, because it's obvious there were some great ideas and execution in this film. Clearly an opportunity lost for greatness.
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