Sunday 5 July 2020

Zombie Genocide

d. Andrew Harrison, Darryl Sloan, Kris Carville; w. Darryl Sloan; p. Andrew Harrison; cast: Andrew Harrison, Darryl Sloan, Jason Morrison, Paul Barton

An incredibly early zombie feature (65 minutes) from Midnight Pictures, the Northern Irish duo who later gave us vampire action picture Dark Light. Four lads return from a week’s camping to find their town deserted. Gradually they realise that the few people they see stumbling around are dangerously aggressive. This is played completely straight (apart from one lovely gag referencing a Day of the Dead poster) and is very much in a Romero vein. Emphasis is on conflict and co-operation between the quartet, and effects, while bloody, are not over-the-top. Much of the film takes place in one suburban house and the later scenes make excellent use of an empty college campus. Bleak and pessimistic, right up to its blackly ironic ending, this is a solid watch. Far too many modern zombie flicks can’t reach this level of artistic and technical competence. Shot on VHS in Portadown between 1991 and 1993, at a time when carrying a replica gun around Northern Ireland could get you killed! Originally self-distributed on VHS, this was released via BitTorrent in 2006 and finally posted onto YouTube on Halloween 2019.

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