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Monday, September 14, 2009

Look Out Fido, Here Comes COLIN

Right off the bat, I just want to see that i refuse to accept this movie's now-legendary $70-dollar pricetag as anything more than clever marketing hype. But marketing hype aside, this is one impressive super-low-budget zombie movie that's well deserving of the worldwide curiosity and attention it's getting.

Unlike Wild Man of the Navidad, which looks and feels very much like a movie that cost nothing to make, Colin is a damn fine little flick, demonstrating a serious amount of filmmaking chops on the part of writer/director Marc Price. While not without its flaws, what do you expect from a movie made on this small a budget, and by a crew of such minimal experience? Judging by the results here, if anyone gives Marc Price some serious cash, we could be looking at a potential future horror classic.

The brilliant approach of Colin is to take us through a zombie apocalypse from the point of view of one of the zombies. While this may seem to some like a potentially boring endeavor--and I will admit it does occasionally drag--it more often than not is pulled off fascinatingly well. Our main character, Colin, is transformed into a ghoul in the film's opening scene, and we spend the remainder of the movie following his shambling exploits as the world around him goes to hell.

I do feel that some of this material could have benefited from superior editing, but all in all, it is very competently pulled off. Alastair Kirton brings a certain amount of pathos to the title role, even as we watch him chowing down on various body parts. It is shot quite well for the most part, although insufficient lighting in certain interior scenes did get a bit tiresome at times.

There are quite a few interesting bits here, including a nightmarish sequence in which the last survivors of an apartment building fight a doomed battle against a horde of the undead. The film sags a bit in the middle as it descends into a series of somewhat disjointed yet visceral zombie setpieces, but the payoff comes when Colin is rediscovered by his surviving family members, including a sister who is hiding a zombie bite inflicted by her zombified brother.

The scenes in which Colin's mother, sister and brother-in-law agonize over what to do with him are easily the best bits in the film, and the acting here is specifically strong. For that matter, I'd call it Hollywood level, and proof that just because a movie has zero budget doesn't mean that it has to have crappy acting. This is some powerful stuff.

I also want to point out the strong makeup work. As time passes, we watch Colin very subtley decompose, his skin drying out and discoloring. From a continuity standpoint, this is especially impressive for such a small-time flick, and demonstrates the kind of cinematically minded attention to detail I'm talking about.

I've seen a number of micro-budgeted zombie flicks, usually made by horror fanboys who have all the enthusiasm and none of the talent. I am releived to say that this is not the case with Colin. Here we have a flick made by someone who possesses both qualities. Marc Price is a filmmaker to watch--he has done the best job possible with almost no money to work with. I can only imagine what the future might hold for him if any producers are smart enough to finance him.

This is an imperfect movie, but one that is well worth your attention, particularly if you love zombies. It may not have literally cost only 70 bucks to make (come on now, fellas, even feeding the extras for one afternoon would come to more than that!), but whatever the budget, what Marc Price made out of it is pretty damn good.

With any luck, and with the right exposure, I can definitely see Colin joining the likes of Fido, Bub and Big Daddy as a fan favorite of zombie-lovers everywhere.

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