Zombie Honeymoon Movie Review
Written by Daniel Benson
DVD released by Fabrication Films
Written and directed by Dave Gebroe
87 minutes, Not rated
Tracy Coogan as Denise
Graham Sibley as Danny
Tonya Cornelisse as Nikki
David M. Wallace as Buddy
Neal Jones as Officer Carp
Danny and Denise are newlyweds staying at an Uncle's beach house for their Honeymoon. They are so utterly in love they will do anything for each other, and prove it when they decide to quit their jobs and plan the life of their dreams in Portugal. As with all tragic love stories, theirs is a disaster waiting to happen...
During a day out at the beach, a man appears in the surf, heads towards the beach and attacks Danny. As he tries to fend the attacker off, the man vomits blood over Danny's mouth and face and then dies. Distraught, Denise tries unsuccessfully to revive her unconscious husband, and he is taken to hospital. After an attempt to defibrillate Danny's heart fails, Denise is given the bad news that her husband has died. As sorrow begins to consume her, Danny wakes up and calls for his bride.
The couple are delighted to be reunited, and return home to see out the rest of their honeymoon. Things are not as they were before; unbeknown to the couple, Danny has become one of the living dead and has a hunger for human flesh. Quite the turnaround for a vegetarian. For Danny, the changeover isn't immediate. He doesn't just croak, then minutes later come back as an ashen faced flesh-eater - he makes a gradual decline into zombiedom as facets of his personality are eroded at the same rate as the flesh on his face.
The first time Denise finds out about her husband's new eating habits is when she returns home to find him eating someone in the bathtub. Repulsed by what she sees, and what Danny is capable of, she flees the house but Danny begs her to come back and help him. Desperate to save her marriage, and have the new life they planned, Denise will do anything to help her man.
From there on, it's a battle for Denise to save her relationship while trying to stop her husband eating anyone that gets in his way.
If Shaun of the Dead was billed as a romantic comedy movie with zombies, then this is a romantic zombie movie — with comedy. Although, the humour that runs through Zombie Honeymoon, isn't the laugh-out-loud slapstick type, evident in Shaun — it is as black as the coagulated blood that lies still in Danny's veins.
The biggest hurdle this movie will have to overcome is convincing the viewing public that a story about undead marital problems can be entertaining. Not only does the film manage to entertain, it also manages to tug at the heart strings and chill to the bone in equal measures. Director Dave Gebroe has approached a ludicrous sounding plot with a seriousness and sensitivity which results in, quite easily, the best indie movie I have seen this year. I went in expecting a cheesy tongue-in-cheek gorefest, and came out blown away by this slick, stylish production.
Look at any zombie movie and there's usually a scene where someone is bitten and faces the inevitability of turning into one of the undead. Naturally, their loved one has to reluctantly dispatch them, after being convinced there's nothing left of the person they once loved. Zombie Honeymoon takes this mini-story to the next level, exploring what would happen when two people, so madly in love, are hit with the same problem.
Two blistering performances from the lead actors ensures that this movie is a winner. Tracy Coogan plays the besotted wife, Denise who will do anything to maintain the perfect relationship with her man. Her portrayal makes the viewer absolutely convinced that she would stay by Danny's side through anything — even his turning into a zombie. Graham Sibley is perfect as Danny and conveys a tangible range of emotions as his descent into cannibalism consumes his previous persona. Throughout it all you are still convinced that his love for Denise is stronger than his affliction, and as a result she is the only one who doesn't end up on his menu. The pair work so well together as a natural couple, you just want to be them, and if you can't be them you want to be friends with them.
There are a couple of flaws with Zombie Honeymoon; there's no explanation about the guy on the beach who attacks Danny, and the hospital don't bother to do further checking when he returns to life after 10 minutes, but these minor points are totally insignificant when placed against the rest of the story.
Don't be put off by the title and the premise of Zombie Honeymoon, beg, borrow, steal or kill and eat your victim to see it. You'll thank me for it. And I thank the filmmakers behind the production for the most entertaining 87 minutes I've had in a long time.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Not rated, as this was a DVD screener only.
Click cover to purchase.
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