Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Colin

"Colin" (2008, Marc Price, Nowhere Fast Film Production, Kaleidoscope Entertainment) is the  British zombie movie famously filmed for the grand total of £45! Whether I truly believe that to be the total cost of the film or not, is besides the question. The real thing is, is it any good?

The film follows the last few moments of life, death and zombie rebirth of Colin (Alastair Kirton); a young man in English suburbia. We begin with Colin entering his home, bleeding. He calls for his flatmate, Damien (Leigh Crocombe who also did the special effects), who appears to not be home, and then tends to his wounds. Then, enter Damien, now a zombie, and begin a kitchen battle!

Whether he kills Damien or not doesn't matter, as Colin has already been infected. I like that this film doesn't give any explanation of the zombies, very reminiscent of Romero's masterpiece; "Night of the Living Dead". They're just there. And Colin's doomed. And that's that!

We witness Colin's 'slow' and agonising (note, it gives the impression of being slow, in real time he turns into a zombie within the first 10 mins!) transition into death and then zombiehood.

This is a film which featured, and did very well, at the Cannes Film festival. Ergo, it's arty. So we get a lot of creative shots: through wine bottles, from odd angles, with cool effects added...

We then follow Colin the zombie on his little discovery tour of his local area. Colin is quite a smart zombie, as zombies go. He can open doors, recognises some things and seems vaguely coherent. Kirton plays the character very convincingly, and almost slightly autistic, giving me the impression that he has studied more that simply other zombie movies to create his character. Colin seems to learn and move onwards, giving the impression that in his own stumbling, aimless sort of way, he is infact heading somewhere.

Colin soon learns that people are tasty, but he doesn't attack them outright, being more generally a scavenger.

Many things happen to poor Colin as he stumbles through the streets:
  • He's mugged for his shoes (who the hell wants zombie trainers?!)
  • He's found and saved by his sister, whom he then bites... Lovely!
  • He eats a guy's face!
  • He stumbles across an amateur film maker... or what's left of him....
  • He finds a zombie party
  • He's hunted... Captured.... Locked up.... Escapes...
  • He even finds himself stuck in a basement at one point
  • He chases after a girl that apparently reminds him of his girlfriend
  • He also appreciates himself a good tune by stealing some poor sod's mp3 player after eating him!
Colin's an active guy!

With such a low budget, I was impressed with some of the effects. Using old fashioned techniques and prosthetics (which I love by the way!) Price has created a wonderful, artsy, gritty and poignant piece which is groundbreaking in its own way, as well as a great homage to the genre.

Some truly scary scenes are in this flick. A basement full of blinded, tortured zombies being one of my favourites. And a house party gone so wrong!

Constant firework-like explosions go on in the background, along with alarms, screaming and general zombie noises. Price really put his all into the little things; from the disgusting, cracking of freshly dead fingers during reanimation, to the wet, sickening sound of broken bones.

Some fairly adventurous gore scenes and clever editing can let you almost completely forget how low-budget this film is! From the ripping out of spines to the breaking of teeth, these guys have really filled this film with those fantastic squirmy moments everyone used to enjoy before films like "Saw" and "Hostel" deadened us all!

Colin slowly becomes more decomposed and slow-witted. Here Kirton really excels at manipulating his body, and adds a feeling of pain to the zombie. The film is both moving and sinister, with a tense almost white-noise feeling that keeps you watching the background for more threats (at first you're looking for zombies, and then I swear you join Colin's team and start looking for human threats!).

Clever placement of newspapers, flashbacks and very minimal dialogue keep you up to date on what's been going on without ever having to explain what's going on (a common error in the B-Movie realm).

Colin eventually leads us back to where his adventure began, giving us an insight into how his own personal story started.

By the end, you're thinking the humans are more monstrous than the zombies with their brutal attack squads and culling of the bitten. Although I did like the dude who had resigned to his fate and was just getting trashed on as much Bucky -that's Buckfast for those who don't know- as he could before he died! Classy!

Although slow progressing, this film isn't boring and really brings a new aspect to a genre which is just chalk full of samey films. Very well done guys!

A surprisingly adventurous and engaging film which relies less on words and more on scene progression. Definitely worth your time!

[Picture: Nowhere Fast Film Production & Kaleidoscope Entertainment]

Hani