Colin Movie Review
Written by Daniel Benson
Released by Nowhere Fast Productions
Written and directed by Marc Price
2008, 109 minutes, Not rated
In 1985 George Romero gave horror fans something they’d never seen before; a glimpse into the soul of a zombie. Day of the Dead’s Bub was the first of the undead to be humanized and instead of wanting him killed, the audience rooted for him. Although Romero has continued to give character to certain zombies in subsequent movies, the main protagonists have always been human.
Now comes UK filmmaker Marc Price and his made-for-nothing, independent zombie movie, Colin. In a genre that has run out of ideas in the mainstream, and is a firm favorite for aspiring low-budget directors, Price has crafted something that is genuinely unique and original.
In the first few minutes of the movie we see our anti-hero, Colin, die from his injuries sustained during a zombie attack in his home. From his subsequent rebirth the rest of the film follows him as he adjusts to life as one of the walking dead. Watching him come to terms with his new life is like watching a mixture of a small child and an animal; the innocence of his interaction with his new environment, coupled with the instinct to feed and survive.
It’s always going to be risky to make an indie movie that runs well over 100 minutes. Too frequently they contain far too much padding that drags out the experience for the viewer. Where Colin is concerned, the opposite is true; I groaned when I saw the running time, yet the time passes rapidly as the story is so compelling. This wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for Alastair Kirton, who is perfectly cast as the lead. This is predominantly a non-speaking role, so everything he conveys, the confusion, the anger, the emotion, is all done physically rather than verbally. And he does it all with the most amazing skill, becoming a completely convincing and endearing member of the undead. A less-capable actor in the lead could have ruined this movie.
The supporting cast is all incredibly competent too. On his journey, Colin encounters groups of other zombies, survivors and those who just seem to be out to re-kill as many of the undead as they possibly can. As a mirror to standard zombie films, it is the humans that have minimal characterization, and as you’re watching from the undead point-of-view, the humans become the enemies and the zombies the heroes.
Colin was shot around London and Price has made use of some striking scenery, coupled with some beautifully composed shots. During the frequent attack scenes, there’s an awful lot of camera shake. It adds to the frenetic atmosphere of the attacks but at times it gets just a little too shaky and takes away from what would have been even more powerful visual sequences. Small criticism for a film that has been made so professionally and proficiently on a budget that would struggle to feed a hamster for a week.
While it’s certainly horrific, and extremely gory in places (thanks to the special effects of Michelle Webb), Colin is a tragic drama at heart. In the second act Colin is captured and held prisoner by his family, and his sister is convinced she can get through to the humanity he once had. True to form, there’s nothing left of the human that once was, but the scenes between the two siblings are simply heart-wrenching at times. It only takes a short attack outside Colin’s makeshift prison to get the two back together. Separated in life, reunited in death.
Colin is one of those rare gems of independent cinema, one that brings new ideas, talent, and faces to the screen. I’ve no doubt it will be a huge hit with horror fans and I can only hope that some enterprising distributor picks it up and gives it the release it deserves.
Colin is simply superb.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Audio, video and special features not rated as this was a screener disc.