The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

The Dark Carnival Movie Reviews

I realized recently that I never got around to reviewing the Dark Carnival Film Festival’s various Zombie related films from last month, in part due to ZombieWriMo!

Let’s correct that now, shall we?

‘A Chance in Hell’

This indie take on the perennial ‘Nazi-Zombie’ motif is interesting on a number of levels. Shot in murky color it plays the concept of a secret Zombie-making Nazi lab very straight, and reminded me both of the early scenes of the most recent X-Men film (about Magneto’s time in a concentration camp), along with some of the darker alternate history comics I’ve seen, particularly ‘I Am Legion’, which I picked up the first issue of once solely because it’s drawn by John Cassaday* of Planetary fame.

But I digress.

A small squad of infantry types invades a secret Nazi bunker where of course the experiments have gone awry and becomes trapped inside, ala ‘Resident Evil’. Can they make their way to the radio room and call in an airstrike to eradicate the entire area?

Would that even work? I mean, the Zombies they fear so much chased them IN to the bunker, which necessarily means they were OUTSIDE of the target. It’s not like we had spare nukes for Europe to turn an entire region into ash.

Logistical issues aside the most striking thing about the film from a Zombie Rights perspective is the shocking brutality shown toward Zombie children, who really only want hugs and a bit of love. These American GIs? They just shoot them instead.

ZRC Pal and my ZombieWriMo nemesis Michelle Hartz was there with us during this screening and was particularly appalled at this mistreatment.

The ZRC rates this well-executed but harsh and cruel film in our lowest tier, that of Living Supremacist. For shame.


Fitness Class Zombie

This very short film from Chris Walsh continues in the unfortunate tradition of his previous work, ‘Rise of the Living Corpse’ and showcases a stop motion Zombie who is abused for the slapstick entertainment of the audience, this time on the basis that Zombies are gross and fall apart easily, or something.

It’s short but goes down badly. We had no choice but to rate this film as being Anti-Zombie for its insulting depiction of Zombie fitness, which after all is an important topic. For those Zombies who require exercise, I mean.

Fitness is for Zombies too.

You can actually see the whole film here:

Fitness Class Zombie from Christopher Walsh on Vimeo.

‘Dead Friends’
Spoilers follow, if you need to skip ahead, go to the next rating graphic to learn the truth:

This was the movie we most anticipated at The Dark Carnival Film Festival, and sadly it was also the one that most disappointed. It starts off promisingly enough, with a lonely little girl turning to necromancy of a sort to create a new friend, an adorable, if confused and somewhat put-upon little Zombie boy. They laugh and play and he puts up with constant tea parties, but things take a darker turn. The little girl, clearly not being raised properly, treats the Zombie boy like a pet, or worse, like a piece of furniture. In spite of her abuses he is completely devoted, even going so far as violently defending her against some assailants.

But alas, he cannot win her affection, and out of spite he attacks her preferentially treated stuffed animal, who actually gets to sleep in a bed (while Zomboy gets the cold hard floor I might add). The little girl then savagely murders him with an hatchet.

Not joking. She kills him with an hatchet.

This isn’t a Zombie Friendly movie! This isn’t a Zombie Friendly movie at all!

In fact, we picketed it on the last day of the Dark Carnival, if only for a little while.


We also rate this film with a shameful Living Supremacist rating, and note that it BROKE MY HEART COMPLETELY.

So sad.

Poor Zomboy.

That was more or less it for the straight-on Zombie movies. A few other films touched on issues for the Undead generally, especially ‘Bite Marks’, a sort of gay rom-vam-com. It isn’t at all Vampire Friendly, but at least they don’t sparkle. I think that’s something.

Well, that’s about it for our ZRC ‘Dark Carnival Film Festival’ movie reviews! Check back for more news and information if ZombieWriMo doesn’t murder me.

Which it might.

*John Cassaday’s so dreamy

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


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