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Movies and TV are full of zombie-related fare, so it’s kind of silly to want more of it out there, but the short film Super Zero, released earlier this year, is an enjoyable romp with a limited scope that deserves broadening in a more mainstream fashion. Check it out below and see if you agree.
Director Mitch Cohen, who already has several quality short films on his resume, did a fine job putting together this comic book-ish tale of surviving in the zombie-ridden post-apocalypse. Here, we have everyday nerdling Josh (Umberto Celisano) attempting suicide as the world is reveling in the discovery of water on Mars. He waxes wise in a video suicide note — a nice touch for voiceover’s sake — and awkwardly calls out a girl he has a crush on, all before trying to hang himself. It doesn’t work. And then…mayhem.
There’s a surprising depth to the story that makes it stand out above everything else. (And I’m assuming “29 days later…” is a reference to 28 Days Later.) In this case, the zombies are a direct result of the Mars mission’s spacecraft crashing to Earth unexpectedly, although their appearances are par for the undead course. Josh’s survival is tied into the reason why he wanted to kill himself in the first place: he has a serious form of cancer that makes his brainwaves appear non-existent to the brain-hungry beasts walking around. Great touch.
Josh meets up with girl-of-his-dreams Page (Giselle Gilbert), her cousin Nate (Tyler White), and this total douchebag named Gary (Al Bernstein), who’s still dressed in his children’s clown outfit, a month after the shit hit the fan. I’d gladly watch this show become a movie or TV series in the hopes that he would get eaten in a violent way.
The performances in Super Zero are the most average part of the short, though they’re nowhere near as bad as 80% of the indie zombie flicks out there. The real draw is Cohen, who directs the hell out of this thing with what was presumably a small budget. The shot of the spacecraft zipping over Josh’s house and crashing in the distance? Solid. The shot where Nate bashes a zombie with the bat and the camera stays with the bat as the zombie falls down? Excellent. The part when Josh uses his wrist device to blow a zombie to smithereens? Wonderful.
So yeah, let’s get Mitch Cohen into Hollywood at some point, shall we? Surely The Walking Dead Season 6 hasn’t secured all of its directors yet.