I first became acquainted with the work of Francesco Picone during Italian Horror Week last year and then immediately following had the pleasure of watching his movie Io sono morta (I’m Dead) during the Killer Film Festival that I judge each year. Io sono morta is brutal and clever, transitioning between near torture porn level violence with clever psychological intrigue. Remember that when this writer uses the term “torture porn” I mean it in a positive way; a chance for the effects people to show off and for the audience to let their innocent eyeballs drip from their sockets while they are skull-fucked by the visuals on screen. That’s a great way to describe Io sono morta, and I’m glad to have experienced it now, multiple times. Today, we’re here to talk about Anger of the Dead, the new short film from Picone which, as the title might suggest, is a zombie picture.
Now I know what you’re going to say. The zombie market is flooded, oversaturated and washed up. While I would agree that the market is saturated with zombie films due to the success of recent undead programming, and it’s difficult to find fresh meat, I do not believe that the well has run dry. There are plenty of new stories to tell involving zombies, new ways to tell them and from different perspectives. Remember that one of the reasons we love zombie films is because they allow us to deal with social critiques in a fun way in order to address our fear about ourselves and not necessarily about the undead, with teeth monsters that walk around when they should be gathering flies. The level of criticism and personal story varies per movie. The success of a zombie film, aside from pure entertainment value, should be gauged on whether it makes you feel something about your own, living life; the world that isn’t plagued by zeds.
When a casual bistro dining experience between two couples is interrupted by one of the diners transitioning into a zombie, the world begins a quick descent into an apocalyptic, bleak urban jungle filled with hords of ferocious undead. Two of the survivors make their way through the cityscape and onto a bridge looking for any means of survival. They are not alone. The undead take notice of their presence, but that’s not the only terrifying thing on the bridge.
Keep your eyes out for this short, socially relevant zombie flick. I would imagine will see it pop up in the festival circuit soon enough and it should have success in that endeavor.
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