Film review: Colin

October 25, 2009 by
Filed under: Film reviews 

colin-zombieA new independent British zombie film following in the footsteps of the adequate The Zombie Diaries, and the more polished, if unseen to date, The Dead Outside (will someone please give these guys a DVD deal? In fact, put all three movies into a cool little box-set please), Colin has been touted around with the story of a £45 budget spent on tea and biscuits. If that’s true then all well and good, but the film itself certainly stands up to geek analysis without the aid of a gimmicky marketing campaign, and will receive a deserved short run and DVD release in October.

Colin is the eponymous central character whom we meet returning home one afternoon. It soon becomes apparent there’s anarchy in the streets of Wandsworth, South London as gunshots and explosions fill the City air and he washes his blood-soaked hands and knife. Colin has been bitten and after fighting off his flatmate we witness his inevitable un-birth. The film then follows our hero around the streets of London as he slowly descends into a state of fully-fledged zombie. For a zed geek like me this is one of the most interesting aspects of the film as, initially, Colin appears to have a certain amount of intelligence to his actions, maybe considering whether or not to tuck into some easily available flesh as the more developed around him flood the streets and chase down the unfortunate survivors.

Colin wanders around, occasionally chowing down, mostly on the already dead, possibly learning from the actions of the others. There are some interesting victims, notably the man who is being eaten alive while he listens to his MP3 player, a gadget which attracts Colin’s attention for a while. There are a couple of episodes where our hero disappears amongst the whole zombie horde, such as the time when he stumbles into a townhouse where four students are fending off a whole front room of the undead. As sheer weight of numbers overwhelms them the scene does actually become fairly harrowing and only one girl escapes. We follow her as she breaks into a seemingly disused garage where a sleazy bloke seems to be torturing zombies by removing their eyes. Again, it’s an intense scene, but its effect is somewhat dampened by the fact you can’t see what’s going on most of the time, and it’s so unexpected and jarring when set against the carnage in the streets. Director Marc Price should be commended for trying something a little different with these interludes, and with Colin being almost totally from an undead perspective.

Price also succeeds with his decision to introduce a sub-plot wherein his sister realises he’s a zombie, and with some mates captures him in an effort to see if he can remember who he is was/is. These poignant scenes are well balanced by her mates’ dislike for Colin in his current state, and the decision they must make when it becomes obvious he cannot be ‘returned’. (Another geek note of interest – apparently, immersing a zed’s head in a bath of water will calm it down temporarily).

Colin is surprisingly well-acted given the majority of its cast were recruited via Facebook and MySpace, although it helps that the majority of the film is without dialogue, and where there is speech it is mostly experienced from Colin’s point-of-view. Being sympathetic to a central character is a prerequisite of most films; the viewer’s interaction with Colin is no different as we know just enough about him to care and as the story unfolds and he descends into a new form of life this sympathy only increases.

Colin, 2008

Dirceted by Marc Price

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