Just when Michael arrives in Berlin to visit his ex-girlfriend Gabi, a terrible virus starts spreading across the city at a rapid pace, turning people into mindless homicidal maniacs. Much ... See full summary »
Two former baseball players, Ben (Jeremy Gardner) and Mickey (Adam Cronheim), cut an aimless path across a desolate New England. They stick to the back roads and forests to steer clear of the shambling corpses that patrol the once bustling cities and towns. In order to survive, they must overcome the stark differences in each other's personalities. Ben embraces an increasingly feral, lawless, and nomadic lifestyle while Mickey is unable to accept the harsh realities of the new world and longs for the creature comforts he once took for granted. A bed, a girl, and a safe place to live. When the men intercept a radio transmission from a seemingly thriving, protected community, Mickey will stop at nothing to find it, even though it is made perfectly clear that he is not welcome.Written by
Zombie film but very unlike the usual blood&gore. Rather studying two different characters coping in a hostile environment. With humor as a secret ingredient
I saw this film at the Imagine film festival 2013 in Amsterdam. The festival website labeled it as Horror, but the IMDb website rightly adds the Drama label as well, the latter better describing the essence of the story. There is no real plot, other than the zombie plague that apparently is spreading. We are left in the dark how and why this came about. The number of zombies in sight is kept to a minimum, being not really important for the story, only needed as entourage creating the circumstances in which the two men have to survive. The few humans they encounter on their journey are hostile on average, only trying to survive like our two main characters. Meanwhile they talk about lost relatives, family members, and (of course) former girl friends whose fate is uncertain.
We see two very different characters, formerly working together as a so-called Battery (a catcher and pitcher couple in baseball), roaming from place to place, eating canned food, using empty houses for shelter when available (after being checked for zombies, and swept clear of it when needed), but otherwise having nothing useful to do other than practicing and quibbling. Their interaction is the real subject of this film, and keeps us interested for the whole 101 minutes running time. The secret ingredient is the humor that is interwoven throughout, and their differences in coping behavior.
The long final scene in the confines of a car is unique. From the Q&A after the screening we learned that it was even 17 minutes long originally, later cut down to 11 minutes, but still stretching the patience of contemporary viewers. But it worked: wondering how this would come to an end (and which end?) kept us alive and prevented a walk out. Unique for the film as a whole is that it adds humanity to the zombie category (a takeaway quote from the Q&A). It shows that it is not always needed to have an abundance of blood&gore in a horror movie to keep us interested. Apparently, this story works as a vehicle to let us think about what might happen when our way-of-life is turned upside-down. How will I cope in such circumstances??
Of course, the post-apocalypse situation always gives rise to questions: where to find petrol (out of stranded cars??), bullets (how to obtain??), and batteries. They burn a lot of the latter, e.g. the walkie-talkies took 4 each, and the continuous use of a discman is utterly irresponsible. But all of that may be wrong questions to ask, especially in this movie that tries to be different and succeeds very well in that, so we really should not be bickering about such tiny details.
All in all, I was very satisfied to put this film on my "must see" list, regardless of the synopsis not sounding that much interesting. But it worked out very well for me, after all, as can be derived from above paragraphs. I scored a maximum (excellent) for the audience award when leaving the theater. As of today, this film ended second (score 8.43) on the audience award listing, so I'm not alone in this.
52 of 89 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this