Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zombie Honeymoon (2005)

***1/2 (out of four stars)

There's a brilliant little documentary out there called Horror Business. The documentary follows a bunch of low budget, indie filmmakers as they cope to try and deal with life in the filmmaking world. Christopher P. Garetano is the director Horror Business and I've got to say that it's one of the best films I've seen last decade. It really gives insight into the grueling world of being a filmmaker. Upon watching this intriguing documentary, I became really fond of some of the filmmakers who Garetano followed throughout the film. One such filmmaker is Dave Gebroe. Dave is responsible for 2005's genius little zombie flick called, Zombie Honeymoon.

I've got to say that I'm very disenchanted by Zombie films as of late. I mean, maybe disenchanted is the wrong word. More like burned out. Yeah, that's a better term. But every once in a while, a zombie film turns up that makes me not want to give up on the genre. Zombie Honeymoon is one such film.

Danny (Graham Sibley) and Denise (Tracy Coogan) are newlyweds. They're young, in love and looking forward to a fine future together. After getting hitched, they resort to a house lent to them by an Uncle. While on the beach one afternoon, after Danny goes surfing, a zombie emerges from the ocean and attacks him. He's pronounced dead at the hospital but miraculously lives. Soon he starts to deteriorate and gradually turns into a flesh eating zombie himself.

OK, so the plot does sound paper thin, but once you get into the meat (no pun intended) of the story, it's realized that this is a very dramatic piece of cinema. At its very core, it's a love story and one told right. After Danny begins eating people, Denise has to show her true love and stand by her husband. Just like his life, Danny's marriage is slowly disintegrating as well.

Even though we're watching a zombie film, the similarities with others are much different. There's no gun fights, no hoards maiming innocent people, no end of the world scenario. It's just a fucked up love story told with a creative spark that makes this film stand out from the rest. We're not talking about the greatest zombie film ever put on film. But we are talking about one good looking film, with a well written script, a decent crew of actors and some great music. If you're a gore hound, you'll be pleased with the FX in this film. There's enough gore to satisfy your disgusting needs!

According to Dave Gebroe he went through his own hardships to make this film. Like many filmmakers Dave understands that you have to run on pure passion to get you through a day's work. Filmmaking can be a living hell and with bitchy actors, 18 hour days, people backing out last minute, and the overall relentless nature of the business, most tend to want to give up. Passion keeps filmmakers like Dave going. It's for the sake of the art. That and paying homage to something even bigger than Dave, his crew and the film.

Another reason for Dave's loyalty to this project may stem from the origin of this story. There was a real life Danny, who had a freak surfing accident and died. Dave's sister was married to Danny. This is a homage to his sister and a way to cope with the loss. Remember, film can also be therapeutic.

Starring: Tracy Coogan, Graham Sibley, Tonya Cornelisse and David M. Wallace

Written and Directed by: Dave Gebroe

83 mins


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