Hello Ghouls and Boils,
It is day seven of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean Strauss – documentarian and location manager extraordinaire! Friday we posted a wonderful zombie love story… I took a break Saturday to go see Macbeth in the cemetery, more on that after this series is through. On Sunday we talked with DP Ryan K. Johnson! Monday we listened to actress Tara Walker and I babble at McMenamin’s downtown. Today, the long awaited review by Minion A.P. Weir — and a bonus surprise… this week is getting extended and sprinkled in over the coming weeks with interviews with FomF allums Gil Luna and Heather Rose Pearson! There will also be a follow up interview with Edward Martin III! Check out Flesh of my Flesh and get your copy today! Enjoy, my fiends!
Sarah L. Gerhardt
Once upon a time, I was a huge fan of the zombie genre. But somewhere between the remake of Dawn of the Dead and Land of the Dead, it stopped being a horror subgenre I actively sought out. I didn’t even discover the Walking Dead comic until after several months of “You would love AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ series.” I think a big part of that was that shortly after “28 Days Later” and “Dawn of the Dead” suddenly zombies were faster, scarier, and trendier and everyone and their momma were making low-budget zombie flicks. Romero‘s vintage Dead movies, the original Return of the Living Dead, several of the Fulci Romero rip-offs of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s re-viewings and the original three Playstation “Resident Evil” games remain my preferred way of consuming zombies outside of the various multimedia offerings of “The Walking Dead.” So yeah, I’ve almost turned into that “You Zombies Get Off My Lawn !” Old Lady that lives at the end of your street. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I offered to review “Flesh of My Flesh” for Sarah. I’m happy to say that I was actually rather pleased with the viewing experience.
So, first: Let’s get the obvious out of the way. This is a shoe-string low-budget movie. It’s obvious from the get-go. However, I’m of the opinion (and you should be too) that when budgeting falls short, passion, dedication, and good-old-fashion gumption will carry the difference. “Flesh of My Flesh” has plenty of passion, dedication, and good-old-fashion gumption. You get a sense from the cast and zombie extras that they are bringing their A-Games here and pouring the same amount of enthusiasm that you’d expect in a bigger budget movie.
From a visual place, while it’s clearly not shot on the most expensive film equipment or stock, it is clear that a lot of time and energy went into setting up the shots and there are some great visual effects. There was a pretty fun effect I have dubbed “zombie vision” used in the zombie scenes that help give those scenes an otherworldliness. The filming locations go a long way to making this movie look better. If this had been filmed on bad sets, then some of the look and feel of this movie would have been off. But it’s clearly filmed in a real place and real rooms and it looks better because of it. Also there are several practical effects on display in this movie that are really cool. This movie may be low-budget, but it never looks cheap. It also doesn’t sound cheap. There is some really great music used throughout.
I’m not going to get spoilery here as a lot of the things I want to talk about that “Flesh of My Flesh” brings to the zombie mythos I feel would take away from the fun of discovering it while watching the film. Rest assured there are some fun twists to this movie’s take on zombies and these are twists that make sense and also help this movie stand out from other additions to the zombie subgenre.
I was impressed by the cast and slightly bummed when a quick trip to IMDB.com didn’t give me a lot of information on other projects where I could find the majority of the lead actors. I was very impressed by Heather Rose Pearson, Rex Irae, Matthew Martin, and Ron Richardson as Herbert West –yes, I’m pretty sure it is intended to be THAT Herbert West. Also kudos to all those zombie extras. They are clearing loving the f**k out of being zombie extras.
If we were getting more zombie movies like “Flesh of My Flesh” I think my love of the subgenre wouldn’t be in a state of malaise right now. I definitely would love to see more work from Edward Martin III. I think the concepts and ideas he puts forth here show great potential from him and remind me of what I’ve been missing from the horror genre for years — some new ideas and imagination. Someone in Hollywood needs to watch this and give this man a budget to match his imagination as imagination. I give this film a four out of five tentacles!
A.P. Weir – Reviewer/Monthly Movie Tweet-a-thon Co-host