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Dead, But Not Deadbeat--A Modern Zombie Daddy Redefines What Makes A Family,
This review is from: The Defiled (Amazon Video)
Julian Grant's "The Defiled" is a film that proves anyone can make a movie (though maybe not everyone should!). With no dialogue, this black and white film about zombie-like entities on the outskirts of a ravaged city is a stark, minimalist, and haunting epic that deserves to be seen by a wider audience. While the film's main target might be horror seekers, the film might better appeal to lovers of true indie cinema. With a micro-budget, this contemplative film explores familial obligations, integrity, and loyalty amidst the disintegration of humankind. Those accustomed to big studio gore and mayhem might be disappointed in this low-key relationship drama, but Grant wisely attempted a more thoughtful and unique film lacking the funding for all out carnage! I can't begin to express my admiration for this terrifically unorthodox movie and the moxie that got it made. I think Grant must have had a video camera, access to a Halloween Spirit store, and a credit card--but still was able to make something more intelligent than most big name horror directors.
At the beginning of "The Defiled," we're introduced to a family of creatures that fall somewhere between humans and zombies. Sentient and social, these beings are not the marauding mindless monsters typical to comparable fare. So unusual and so captivating, I fell in love with this band of grotesques! When tragedy strikes, the father hits the road with a newborn creature hybrid. This delightful baby needs his daddy, and this is no deadbeat father--he provides for the little tyke by chewing human flesh up and feeding it to him baby-bird style. Encountering other, more sadistic creatures, our hero saves a woman prisoner. Forming a tenuous bond, this human joins forces with our zombie dad to become a bizarre family unit. Fending off deadly threats, including the local military, our threesome will have to make some hard decisions about where they belong in this new world order.
Creative and surprisingly touching, I'll say again that this isn't conventional movie making. You can't expect the bells and whistles of a major motion picture--the editing can be a bit choppy and disjointed, the make-up simplistic, the special effects minimal. But the wordless performances are terrific (aside from the delightfully fake baby) and the story is well rounded and carries true emotional heft. Grant has produced a tremendously effective film that is as much of a relationship drama as it is a shocker. Truly, this was not what I expected! Please, if you admire way way way off the beaten path entertainment and love the spirit of independent film making--you've got to sample this one! KGHarris, 3/11.