Monday, 8 July 2013



There's something joyously irresistible about a title as blunt and trashy as that: it promises full-on undead action and brings the excesses of the video nasty era to mind. But though it might sound like a quickie retitling to make a dull cheapie look a bit more lurid, or an obviously absurd great-title-shame-about-the-movie joke title in the Troma vein of Stuff Stephanie In The Incinerator, it's actually a reasonable representation of the flm: there are zombies in it and there are driller killers in it as well. (Originally it was known as Dark Souls, which is a bit of a nothing title to be honest.) More remarkably still, it's actually quite a decent little horror, to the extent that I started openly questioning reality when something called Zombie Driller Killer turned out to be a better and more interesting film than the new Ben Wheatley or the new M Night Shyamalan. It's like Janet Leigh's death in Psycho: suddenly the comfortable old certainties have disappeared and you don't know where to turn.

It doesn't mess about: it starts at full tilt with a jogger being chased and drilled by a masked maniac in an orange jumpsuit. Yet she's not actually dead. While the police bumble around failing to solve the case and the increasing number of identical attacks (which don't count as homicides since the victims aren't technically dead), her music teacher father takes her home, as the hospital can't do anything, and then proceeds to track down the driller killer personally. But who or what is behind this evil zombification scheme, and why?

Taking its cue from The X-Files' alien conspiracy arcs (brilliantly, to the extent of including a sound clip of Gillian Anderson which encapsulates the premise of the film in advance), this is a grim yet generally good-natured little Norwegian schlocker which does have a bigger picture than just the individual zombie-biting mayhem. Throwaway zomb fodder it may be, but it snagged several award nominations around the world (winning Best Feature in Rhode Island and Best Foreign Male Actor in Melbourne), and is generally nicely enough done to easily pass as a Friday night rental. (Incredibly obscure injoke: the lead cop's wall is full of maps, photos and clippings - and also a page of screenplay which appears to come from a film called Pax, whose assistant art director Maria Ducasse produced this film, and is married to one of the co-directors.)


Not bad at all:

No comments: