Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Zombie Honeymoon (2004)

This is my 300th review for the blog.  There won't be a 'skip' day tomorrow, though.  I've decided to save that for the one year blogiversary in about eight weeks.  And now, on with the review.

Zombie Honeymoon begins with newlyweds Denise and Danny bailing on any of that reception nonsense and heading straight off into the sunset to enjoy their life together.  Also, to have sex in the backyard of the place where they're staying, which seems like it would be quite uncomfortable.

Anyway, the next day they're at the beach, when a man staggers out of the water, vomits black stuff all over Danny, and then dies.  I liked this scene.  It's a lot more intense than that summary suggests, and I appreciated that Denise gets in there, kicking the guy and trying to drag him off her husband.  It's good to see a female lead with some gumption.

Danny's body goes into arrest from whatever the black stuff was, and he dies at the hospital.  But then, ten minutes later, he sits up, feeling fine.  The hospital staff are perplexed, but Denise doesn't care how he came back, just that he did.

She'll be rethinking that position a few days later when she finds him eating the corpse of a jogger in their bathroom, but first we get several scenes building the pair's relationship and establishing that they're very much in love.  It's nice to see a film take a moment to deal with a character reacting to not losing someone: often fiction kind of glosses over the stress and horrified "what ifs" that accomplish a near miss.

Honestly, I think this is the best part of the film.  The two leads work well together, and when - in a rush of adrenaline from Danny not being dead - they quit their jobs and apartment and pledge to follow their dreams by moving to Portugal, you'd probably feel excitement for them if you didn't know from the title of the film where things were going to be heading.

But flesh-eating zombiedom cannot be denied, and soon Danny is succumbing to the irresistible lure of human flesh.  He promises Denise he would never hurt her, and when he says he can't live without her, her own pain over his recent death prevents her from leaving.  But as the days go by and Danny finds it harder and harder to remember the events of his life, and his kill count mounts ever higher, Denise has to ask herself if she can rely on his promise.

The zombie portion of the film is not special, and the ending is a little too pat for my tastes (though, reading the story that inspired the script, I can see why he wanted an 'upbeat' conclusion to his tale).

This is much, much better than the average Indie zombie film, and it has good performances, but it's kind of uncomfortably straddling a couple of different genres and it probably isn't going to work for most audiences.

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