Zombie Virus on Mulberry Street DVD Review
Written by Daniel Benson
DVD released by Momentum Pictures
Directed by Jim Mickle
Written by Nick Damici and Jim Mickle
2006, Region 2 (PAL),84 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD Released 18th May 2009
Nick Damici as Clutch
Antone Pagan as Peter Pace
Tim House as Ross
Larry Fleischman as Charlie
Bo Corre as Kay
Ron Brice as Coco
John Hoyt as Big Vic
Kim Blair as Casey
Let’s get this straight; there are absolutely no zombies in Zombie Virus on Mulberry Street. So why Momentum has opted to retitle this for the UK market, from its original title Mulberry Street, is beyond me. Maybe Murdering Mouse Men from Manhattan was already taken? Certainly the cover art suggest a post apocalyptic carnivorous cadaver movie, but that’s not what you get.
It’s a shame, then, that the dumbing-down by a marketing department masks what Mulberry Street actually is; a tightly paced outbreak horror that can stand toe to toe with many big-budget movies because it’s well written and delivers the goods in terms of gore and scares.
In the sewers of Manhattan a deadly virus has spread through the rodent population — the maintenance man from a particular apartment block has just had a nasty bite from a rat. What he doesn’t know is this injury won’t just sting a bit, it’ll send the virus surging through his veins and turn him into an infectious rat-faced, flesh-eating maniac. He’s not the only one though, all over the city people are going crazy, attacking people and feasting on their prime cuts.
Meanwhile, tough-nut ex-boxer, Clutch (Nick Damici), is preparing for his daughter, Casey’s (Kim Blair) return from a stint in the army. The last thing he needs is an outbreak of rat-mania getting in the way of the reunion.
So rats pass an unknown infection to humans, which turns them into rodent-like man-munchers. Sounds preposterous. But you know what? It actually works. You have to forget about the mechanics of the plot to a certain extent, but overall the film is skillfully shot, very well acted, and the pacing is spot on.
The bulk of the movie takes place in and around the apartment block, which is home to several eccentric, colourful personalities. Fortunately, none of them has been written in such an overblown way that they stand out negatively from the rest of the cast. There’s a fastidious attention to detail with all of the character development and, even though Clutch is the movie’s hero, the film would be much less without the combination of its participants.
The scenes where the rat-people attack rely heavily on shaky-cam, which means you’ll either love it or hate it. It’s a shooting style that’s become used a little too often in lower budgeted movies, normally to hide shortcomings in the production values. Mulberry Street didn’t need to do this. The rat-people makeup is not as bad as might be expected, given the subject matter. It’s barely seen in lingering detail, thanks to shaky-cam, but in the few glimpses the viewer gets it looks convincing and is never too over the top.
Mulberry Street was one of 2007’s After Dark Film Festival “Eight Films to Die For” that showcases new talent in the low budget arena. It was a worthy addition to the line-up and while it might not quite be “to die for”, it’s certainly worth a spin after dark.
Video and Audio:
There's a distinct greenish tinge about the picture for almost the entire movie. It adds an air of gloom and enhances some of the claustrophic scenes within the apartment block. The picture is solid and defined with no breakups or signs of artifacting during even the darkest scenes.
A 5.1 audio track partners the film. For the most part there's not much happening in terms of an immersive sound field but in the later stages, when the action gets going, there's subtle use of the rears that leads to a reasonable effect.
- Trailers for Mulberry Street, Cold Prey 2: Resurrection, Lesbian Vampire Killers and The Promise.
- Deleted Scenes
- Make up test
- Shooting The Rat Creatures
- Behind the Scenes: Rats
- VFX Tests
Most of the features run just a little over two minutes and provide small, but interesting, glimpse into the making of the film.