Can it be true? A fan-oriented, student-made zombie comedy that doesn't have me reaching for the nearest bottle of cyanide capsules? Yes, I'm happy to say one exists, and it's called I RAN FROM A ZOMBIE, a 2008 short from writer/director Matthew Hatchard.
While it's not terribly original, borrowing heavily from the established cannon of undead classics--especially SHAUN OF THE DEAD--it sets itself apart by being genuinely funny. You won't be in any danger of gut-busting or side-splitting, but this what-if scenario in which a trio of pub-dwelling blokes discuss what they'd do in a zombie outbreak will get a few honest-to-Romero chuckles out of you. It's one of the few non-professional shorts I've encountered that successfully understands the use of repetition in humor, the actors are likable and charming, and many of the jokes are still funny even when the punchlines are telegraphed. Even its ending, which is nothing new, serves to sharpen the short's edge and close on a resounding note.
Undoubtedly the product of a fan's appreciation, I RAN FROM A ZOMBIE echoes its inspirations without coming off as geeky. There's even the novelty of the use of a historic fort that rises it above most home-bound productions.
A pleasant surprise, and I can't wait to see what Hatchard and company come up with next.