Monday, October 09, 2006

A Decent Zombie Movie

I was at my local K-Mart earlier today and I picked up a couple of cheap horror movies. I've actually managed to watch one so far. It's a zombie movie called The Ghouls. According to the box, this was an "Official Selection [at the] Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival," an "Official Selection [of] Rue Morgue's Indie Terror Fest," and the "Winner [for] Best Film [at] Saints and Sinners IV." These guys must have way lower standards than me.

Don't get me wrong; this wasn't a terrible movie. I think I can safely say that this is the best independently produced zombie movie I've seen. Of course, that's not saying very much. Here are my gripes:

1. The hero is a dick. He's a stringer (a kind of reporter). He's the sort of reporter who'd rather film somebody dieing than lift a finger to try and save that person's life. Seriously, his girlfriend dumps him because she knows he filmed some children being burned alive and ignored their cries for help.

2. It's so slow to start. We see our "hero" filming a serial killer, filming a high-speed car chase, selling a story, getting dumped, getting drunk, getting high, having weird flashbacks, and generally being a dick before we see even one zombie.

3. The zombies are stupid even for zombies. All of their victims are either killed or severely mutilated before being dragged off to the zombie larder: except for the "hero." Him they don't touch, so he can escape and kill them all on his way out.

The one thing I did like about this movie was that some effort obviously went into it in areas other than makeup and gore effects. The acting is actually good. Other than the plot hole at the end, the writing is pretty good. While the lighting almost universally dark, this seems to be intentional as opposed the more usual "to cheap to hire somebody" mentality I think lies behind a lot of these movies.

This really isn't a bad film. I don't think it's all that great either, though. If you like zombie movies, you might like this one. I give The Ghouls three and a half yo-yos.

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