Monday, June 30, 2008


2005's THE HOLY DEAD is another student short, this time coming from British director Daniel Ford. A particularly unremarkable film, I gave it a shot based solely on its evocative title, which it fails to explain. Hopefully Ford's professor and I weren't using the same criteria to determine its merits.

It's the same "person encounters zombies and gets eaten" story we've seen ad nauseum, distinguished only by a truly awful newscast opening the film and a bare minimum of filmmaking competence. There's not much in the way of style, and what little narrative Ford does give us never makes much sense, suggesting either a plot twist or character relationship that goes as unexplained as its title.

For some reason it's bizarrely refreshing to see that student films are just as formulaic and ridiculous on the other side of the pond, but it would've been nice to see a different cultural perspective on the same material we've seen time and again. Perhaps we're exporting a drive for lowest-common-denominator filmmaking along with our films themselves.

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