Okay, I've featured plenty of student/homemade short films in the past, and though I try to give them slack for what they are, they're still usually hard to sit through, of interest mostly to friends and immediate family of the filmmakers (and sometimes even that's debatable). And while THE DEAD, a 200 short from directors Marten Oravas and Urmas Salu, is in many ways no different, but something about it really got to me and I found really fun.
Made by kids who are probably still looking forward to junior-high orientation, and as simple-minded as a zombie movie made in one afternoon, THE DEAD possesses a childish enthusiasm that overcomes the obvious humor and awkward performances (hell, you should watch it just to hear the lead kid scream).
Yes, it's just children playing pretend, but the photography and editing are surprisingly solid, and the cribbed soundtrack (including Godsmack over the fight sequences) isn't as jarring as it usually is when used this way. (And hey, for someone who's just grown their pubes, this kid can kick some zombie ass.) It even has a story of sorts, though its Pied Piperish ending had me scratching my head.