Friday, November 24, 2006

Dead Meat


Dead Meat
Directed by: Connor McMahon, Ireland, 2004
Horror, 80 min
Distributed by: Scanbox Entertainment Sweden AB

Story:
Helena [Marián Araújo] and her husband find themselves lost on the Irish landscape. After accidentally hitting a guy with their car they put him in the back to take him to a doctor. But before they get very far he bites a big chunk out of Martin’s [David Ryan] neck. This is just the start of Helena’s forty eight hours in hell as she soon learns that zombies have come back to life and are feeding on everyone they can put their hands on.


Me:
Honest to the genre and financed through funding from the Irish state, McMahon’s low budget zombie movie definitely delivers the goods. The opening is classic zombie movie formula. Along the way the Helena character meets new friends and foes who together try to outlive the zombies. The quiet but wise gravedigger Desmond [David Muyllaert] with his trusty shovel, the aggressive and strange Cathal Cheunt [Eoin Whelan] who acts as a composite of all the prejudices about Irishmen, and his wife Francie [Amy Redmond]. Towards the ending of the movie he shifts the focus from the zombies and has mad cows be the attackers, yes this has a humorous effect but the actors just take it for what it is and don’t go overboard with it, and he manages to squeeze in a great Jurassic Park 1993 homage in the scene too. There are several very scary scenes, especially when the four of them are surrounded by zombies in the pitch black as their car has stalled in the mud. Cheap but well made effects keep the gore on the right side for a zombie movie. Very much in the tone of George A Romero’s zombie movies dark, downbeat and not much time wasted on explaining the reason for the zombie invasion McMahon obviously has passion for his film. He uses conventional approaches but surprises by throwing in interesting scenes to his movie. There is one scene where Helena uses her high heel shoes as weapons, and after this is forced to walk around without shoes for a while. It could easily not have become an issue, but I like it because it adds to the character vulnerability that genre movies often seem to forget. There are a lot of references to movies within the genre, mostly the above mentioned George A. Romero’s movies obviously. There's an arm decapitation right out of Day of the Dead 1985, but that’s fine because even though he takes time to homage his hero’s McMahon manages to create a good movie and a respectful entry into a genre where many fail to bring something new to the table. Shot on location in Ireland the surroundings and atmosphere are great and the many abandoned castles make great creepy settings.


Image:

Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1

Audio:
For an independent short movie like this the choices of Dolby Digital 5.1 or dts is fantastic. Subtitles in Swedish, Finnish, Danish or Norwegian are optional


Extras:

Here you will find, Mad Cows and Zombies, a twenty minute documentary on the making of the movie and how it came to be. McMahon’s earlier short movie Brain Eater, the original trailer and even there’s even an audio commentary by the director.

2 comments:

Silver Ferox Design said...

The abandoned castle, Cloontykill, at the end of the movie is where I walk my dog most days... It's now being made into a restaurant, expected to open in 2013!

CiNEZiLLA said...

Allright! Thats cool!

:)

J.