Unfortunately, one of the downsides to running The Vault is getting inundated by every Tom, Dick and Harry pushing an amateur film. If I had a nickel for every appallingly unwatchable zombie flick I've been pitched or sent, I'd have at least enough to get me through the McDonald's drive-thru. I've even said before on this very site, that having a camera and a bunch of friends willing to play zombies doesn't give you a justification to make your own zombie movie.
Thankfully, Mac Eldridge's Chemical 12-D is that rare exception to the rule, an amateur zombie short film that is well-worth your time, and deserves exposure to a wide audience.
I can thank Day of the Woman for putting this one in front of me, and helping me get the opportunity to have a look at it. How refreshing it is to watch a movie like this that has so much more than just the filmmakers' enthusiastic love of George Romero movies to its credit. These guys really know what they're doing, and it shows.
Crisply shot by Eldridge's producer David Wagenaar, the seven-minute short has the look and feel of a studio production. Centering on a single incident involving a lone scientist experimenting on a cure for the undead plague, it makes its point quickly, powerfully and deftly.
The brief yet shocking interlude is helped along greatly by the impressive performance of lead actor Bill Stoneking in the role of the scientist. It's an understated bit of business, and he pulls it off in such a way that comes off simple, but really isn't. Seeing him do his thing made me wish that Chemical 12-D was just a small part of a feature film.
Word-of-mouth is spreading on this sweet little ghoulish chestnut, and I'm more than happy to help it along. The Chicago-based Eldridge will be having his film shown this weekend as part of the Windy City's Zombie Outbreak Film Festival, presented by Horror Society.
If you happen to be in the area, I strongly suggest you get yourself over there, not just for Chemical 12-D, but also the terrific Zombie Girl and Colin, both of which are also being screened. And while you're there, you may even run into DotW's BJ-C herself, who will be onhand along with the likes of Buy Zombie's Stuart Conover and The Paradise of Horror's Mr. Johnny Sandman (treat my esteemed colleague right, gentlemen, or I'll be on you like Tallahassee on a twinkie.)
In the meantime, you can enjoy some teaser footage for Chemical 12-D here:
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