Tuesday 3 July 2012

#44 Anniversary Dinner: On Caring For Your Pet Zombie

So this week I got a sneak peak at Anniversary Dinner, a new short from gotta/enk productions, the brains behind Werewolf stabbing film The Big Bad. This time the duo have decided to make a zombie movie, with Jessi Gotta taking on both directorial and zombification duties.

The plot is simple. In the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse it’s the wedding anniversary of a man who’s keeping his zombified wife tied up in the spare room. From there what happens is pretty much exactly what always happens when you keep a zombie tied up in the spare room. Kids, don’t keep a zombie tied up in the spare room.

This is ground that’s been covered plenty of times before. The morality of zombie movies says that if you don’t smash your zombified loved one’s brain in with a shovel or a shotgun blast you’re either weak, misguided or dangerous. There’ve been exceptions. In Shaun of the Dead Shaun seems to have trained his dead best friend Ed to concentrate on playing Timesplitters 2 more than trying to chew off Shaun’s goatee, and in Fido it results in a happy, nuclear, possibly kind of necrophilic family.

But usually that’s not how it ends. It ends with Bubba the friend zombie finally mastering how to shoot you in the head, or the chained up infected soldier in 28 Days Later being let out and running round killing everyone. At best, you’re going to be faced with some truly revolting meal times of the type seen in Braindead.

The way the pet chained up zombie is used in this short does something that’s surprisingly rare in zombie movies. For once, this is a film that uses zombies to talk about death. Frederick, the loving husband in this movie, is still clinging onto his relationship with his wife long after she’s dead. There’s no way she can return his feelings, and so her body becomes a huge, toxic presence in Frederick’s life.

And not just Frederick’s life. Leigh, the zombie played by Jessi Gotta, is a threat not just to Frederick, but to everyone else around him, possibly to the point of restarting the pandemic that has only just been brought back under control. And Frederick doesn’t care, because when we feel at our worst it doesn’t often bring out the best in us.

It’s a great little film, simple but nicely done, and definitely one I’d add to my list of lunchtime zombie movies. When it gets released, I’ll let you know. In the mean time, watch the trailer here:

Anniversary Dinner - Official Trailer from gotta/enk on Vimeo.

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