Friday, August 1, 2008


At a recent signing/reading appearance by authors Timothy Zahn and Michael A. Arnzen*, I had a chance to meet the director of today's entry, Jasmine Moorer. In addition to being a promising young poet, Jasmine's a zombie fan, as evidenced by her 2008 student film RESIDENT MEDIEVAL, in which she lampoons "The Nun's Tale" from THE CANTERBURY TALES as a living dead film. (She does a pretty good impression of a GPS navigation system, too.)

This being a class project I'll be uncharacteristically merciful on the low-rent "production values," such as the medical lab that looks suspiciously like someone's kitchen, or the ever-persistent problem of shooting locations with horrible acoustics (which means I understood maybe a quarter of what anyone was saying). And as for the acting . . . well, I'm sure everyone had a lot of fun making this.

Ah, I'm just being a cranky movie critic again, aren't I? (Hey, you splice together a print of MAMMA MIA! for the third time in as many weeks and see how pissy you are!) How can you not respect a short that pays homage to both George Romero and Geoffrey Chaucer? MEDIEVAL even features a nicely done dream sequence--using, to my great relief, Saint-Saens as musical accompaniment, instead of cribbing Goblin or Rob friggin' Zombie for the millionth time--and closes on a high note, with a parting shot that's quietly, poetically, macabre (even if it was shot on a jungle gym).

It's been a while since my senior Advanced Composition class, so I'm not exactly sure just how faithful it is to its source material (Chaucer, that is--I can safely attest to its faithfulness of the zombie genre), but it's a refreshingly novel tweak of the undead and the cast seems to have really enjoyed the material--a little too much, at times. If Jasmine had been in my class maybe I wouldn't have flunked my CANTERBURY TALES report.

*(One of my favorite writers, as well as a good friend, Mike's one of the most consistently gratifying writers working in horror today. I recently devoured his gleefully twisted novella THE BITCHFIGHT--and boy, do I recommend it. You'll also want to check out his greatest-hits collection PROVERBS FOR MONSTERS and his spoken-word CD AUDIOVILE. He's even got a collection of zombie poems called RIGORMAROLE. Go to Horror Mall to get your copies, and be sure to visit Mike's website.)

See it for yourself here.

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