Fantastic Fest Review: 'Zombie Roadkill'
Fearnet’s web series “Zombie Roadkill” premiered at FantasticFest in its 30-minute entirety. It will be online in five parts beginning in October. “Zombie Roadkill” has a good spirit of silly fun and extreme gore. This is definitely a spoof done with a wink, with love for the genre. It’s not Shaun of the Dead but it’s something to watch online in parts.
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The film establishes the character types with dialogue that’s a little cleverer than the usual horror movie setup. A conversation about eye color reveals who in the car is the A-hole, the slut, the good girl and the nerd. That would be Simon (David Dorfman) as the nerd, Trish (Toni Wynne) as the nice girl, Greg (Michael Blaiklock) as the A-hole, and Nate (Jeff D’Agostino) as the D-bag. Gotta give props to a movie that has both an A-hole and a D-bag.
The writing is probably the element that most makes this film feel like a quality feature, even though it’s an online short. You don’t recognize any of the faces except for Thomas Haden Church in a cameo as a badass park ranger. The characters speak with the intelligence of a writer who knows how sincere they’re being, and how ridiculous that is. Henry Gayden also crafts scenes for those ridiculous clichés in which to play.
The puppets look great. Every attack looks real because there is an actual monster in the scene. Maybe its range of movement is limited but it turns out that it looks more real than smoothly flowing CGI. They’re supposed to be jerking zombie animals.
The camerawork mimics Hollywood movies with spinning cameras and shots expertly staged to enhance the joke or the shock. A fight taking place just out of view is far more awesome than if we’d gotten to see the battle. Gore scenes build, where you think you’ve just seen the money shot, but then there’s another one.
Director David Green follows the rules of zombie movies to establish the setting of the vehicle our heroes are stuck in. You know all the entry points that a zombie animal could crawl through, so you’re antsy with anticipation for how they’re going to blockade themselves. Green gets genuine suspense out of a sunroof. If he can do that with a hole in a car, I can only imagine what’s in store for the series.