The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

The Zombie Rights Campaign Goes to ‘Diabolique International Film Festival’

The Zombie Rights Campaign likes to go to film festivals; it’s a great way to meet people who are interested in Zombies and, often after a bit of gentle cajoling, even interested in hearing about Zombie Rights.

That is, after all, what we do.

And we’ve been going to The Dark Carnival Film Festival since, well… before there really was a ZRC.

This year there was a big change in the Midwest’s flagship festival to celebrate and explore the broad and sometimes Anti-Zombie genre known as ‘horror’, in that The Dark Carnival found a new, and hopefully permanent, home at the Indiana University Cinema, and a new and also hopefully partner/sponsor in the good people at Diabolique Magazine. Appropriately enough, it has been rechristened the Diabolique International Film Festival.. though the name change does leave us feeling a tad nostalgic.

Sniffle. But times change and we must change with them, so on with the show!

And it was a fine show indeed. As you can see at this link, they had an impressive slate of films, and several featured Zombies and/or the Undead in prominent roles, which I will discuss and evaluate behind the cut. Minor but not world-ending spoilers to follow.

Official Description: Zombies 4Kids
(1m, 2014, Dir. Pedro Santasmarinas, Portugal)

Zombies4Kids: “A Survival Guide for Children facing the Undead” is an animated musical short film that teaches children how to identify a zombie.

Trailer:

Zombies4Kids Official Trailer from Pedro Santasmarinas on Vimeo.

Yes, this short film is only 1 minute long, and the trailer is about 9 seconds, but do not let that fool you – it crams in a copious amount of Anti-Zombie propaganda in that short time. We were shocked and appalled, truly.

Zombies4Kids earned our lowest rating: Living Supremacist.

Edutainment or Hateutainment?

Next up, however, came something that made us feel much better:

Official Description: Dead Hearts
(17m, 2014, Dir. Stephen W. Martin, Canada )

A young mortician learns that not even death can stand in the way of true love. A whimsical, gothic bedtime story filled with love, loss, taxidermy, Kung Fu, and biker werewolves. True love never dies.

Trailer:

Dead Hearts – Short Film Teaser / Trailer from stephen martin on Vimeo.

‘Dead Hearts’ was amazing, to put it mildly. I can barely begin to discuss the Zombie aspects of this film without spoilers; the best thing I can say about it is that Zombies are treated as fully human characters worthy of sympathy and compassion, understanding, even thoughtful narration.

It’s never too late to chase after your dreams, even after you’ve died and been reanimated. Very important lesson.

ZRC Rating: Zombie Friendly
Excellent job.

Official Description:
M.O.T.H.
(11m, 2014, Dir. O.T. Fagbenle, UK)

In the aftermath of an apocalypse, an 8-year-old boy must overcome his fear of leaving the house and ward against savage wanderers.

Trailer available here.

I hesitate to say too much about this film and what its relationship is to the Undead, except to note that, once again, the ZRC feels the real tragedy here, as with past movies about children and the apocalypse/supernatural, is a lack of supervision and a caring, nurturing environment. Still, the protagonist and his relationship with a certain… shall we say, Differently Animated… individual could be read as touching, every bit as much as tragic. Children have the most open minds in many ways, and M.O.T.H. shows why we need to do as much youth outreach as possible.

ZRC Rating: Tragically Anti-Zombie, But With Mitigating Circumstances
We feel for all the dislocated in an apocalypse.

Those were the films most on-point for the ZRC at this year’s festival, but we would be remiss if we did not mention a few, not strictly Undead-related items we saw as well.

Lively
(12m, 2013, Dir. Jay Clarke, Canada)

To a childless individual like myself, kids can be mysterious, scary creatures. Lively explores just why that might be.

The Banishing
(14m, 2013, Dir. Erlingur Thoroddsen, Iceland)

Speaking of children and danger, don’t let your kids learn exorcism from Wikipedia. It can’t end well.

Evil Twin
(12m, 2013, Dir. Christian Pfeil, Germany )

The story is just sort of there, but man, alternate-universe hopping kung-fu? Sign us up!

The Carriage or: Dracula & My Mother
(15m, 2014, Dir. Benjamin L. Gordon, Canada)

A movie about the perils of living your life through a camera’s viewfinder… something I can relate to, honestly.

Mineral
(5m, 2013, Michael J. Marino, USA)

Nauseating, but in a good way. Starts out with a kidney stone and goes much, much ickier.

Chestwyrm
(5m, 2013, Dir. Gary Rogers, UK)

Reminds me of a great manga series about living with a parasite, but I can’t say any more without spoiling the great ending. Don’t blink or you’ll miss the deeper meaning.

Pity
(7m, 2014, Dir. John Pata, USA)

From some of the same people behind ‘Dead Weight’, which was decidedly Anti-Zombie, this short is about the leadup to the massacre you usually see in a horror movie. Feels a lot like a Richard Bachman story.

Timothy
(10m, 2013, Dir. Marc Martinez, Spain)

The best murderous children’s show story since ‘Smile Time’ on Angel.

TIMOTHY short film trailer from Marc Martínez Jordán on Vimeo.

We had a great time and plan to go back next year to represent the Differently Animated once more.


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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