Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Yet another student short zombie film, this time for a 2007 production class at NC State. According to director Johnny Demarsico, the assignment was to create a two-to-three-minute "narrative film." Well, I don't think Demarsico quite grasped the concept of narrative, since the term implies the presence of a story--something that THE FLESH definitely does not possess. (And don't even try to argue that length was a factor, lest I beat you upon the head and shoulders with a copy of Michael Arnzen's excellent flash fiction collection 100 JOLTS.) I'm just hoping Demarsico's professor graded him on technical and not creative accomplishment, otherwise somebody's financial aid is getting rescinded.

Demarsico shot THE FLESH in 16mm, so at least the film doesn't look like shit, but unfortunately that's really all it has going for it. Well, that and foxy brunette Angela Guinane as a terrorized jogger, but when a character is so oblivious she doesn't notice a zombie RIGHT BEHIND HER not once but three times in as many minutes, it makes you yearn for a real scream queen like Debbie Rochon (who would've torn some shit up, even in a piddling affair like this).

Yet even in a film as complex and profound as a toothpaste commercial, Demarsico manages to screw up the minimal gore (such as a shallow or non-existent arm wound--depending on the angle--that spews blood like a severed artery) and soundtrack; though filmed without natural sound, sparing us from the presumably miserable dialogue, THE FLESH lifts for its score Goblin's DAWN OF THE DEAD theme (which has not only been co-opted ad nauseum by amateur productions, but in this context it's like using Michaelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" for a paint-by-numbers class) and the Cranberries' "Zombie" (a good song, but laughable in its inappropriateness).

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