Sunday, May 11, 2008


I'm going to confide in you folks: I'll be happy once this project's over, so I can stop subjecting myself to godawful amateur shorts like THEY NEVER STOP EATING. To be fair, I think that's a pretty cool title, even if not much eating takes place, and I promised myself I wouldn't resort to such juvenile tactics such as calling the film IT NEVER STOPS SUCKING, but goddamn this is some really moronic shit.

After a brief series of title cards setting up the backstory--something that could've been done just as easily in dialogue, instead of the bickering and whining we end up with--a group of friends find themselves trapped in a black-wallpapered room, with no doors or windows, as one of them turns into a zombie. Okay, I've cut plenty of slack for these types of films (it's not like I'm expecting Jerry Bruckheimer-ish production values), so I can forgive such an inexpensive, featureless setting. It's what director Carlos Queen chooses to do within his limited set that makes things so insufferable.

The two leads are pretty sedate, considering they're sharing a room with a hungry zombie. Even assuming the actors had very little space to move around in--which I'm guessing is the case, since this thing has all the camera movement of a snuff film, but would it kill somebody to pan left a bit?--it's extremely difficult to generate anything resembling tension or drama when you remain absolutely still. Oh, I'm sure the right pair of actors could pull it off, but these schmucks are WAY below that level (note to Queen: when your actors induce laughter within the first fifteen seconds of your film, you should consider recasting). And if the performances and redundant dialogue weren't enough to stop this thing cold, there's the matter of the zombie, which is for some ungodly reason presented only in still-screen (leading one to assume it was shot separately and spliced in later). Y'know Carlos, it's pretty fucking difficult to make your zombie scary WHEN HE NEVER FUCKING MOVES!

And let's not forget the ending, which features the kind of twist that relies on withheld information. If somebody was bitten by a zombie, don't you think they'd mention it a little sooner?

Queen also includes outtakes and deleted scenes, neither of which I punished myself with, and their inclusion irritates me as much as anything in this wretched thing. When your movie's as flat-out stupid as this, outtakes are a self-indulgent luxury you haven't earned; and if I couldn't stomach the finished film, why in fuck's sake would I want to watch what didn't make it in?

This has been the longest year of my life.

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