Director: Yfke van Berckelaer | 37 minutes | horror, comedy, short film, musical | Actors: Brad Culver, Esme Allen, Chris K. Payne, Brett Waldon, Steven Wendt, Lindsay Rosenboom, Christopher Young, Seth Stewart, Ayana Hampton, Daniel Gallai, Bresha Webb, Brook Burkhardt, Kimmy Chericitti, Jessica Emmons, Alison Haggerty, Kimmy Kellens, Brittney Short, Tiffany Stacy
‘Zombie Love’ (2007) has a rather unusual approach. This becomes apparent when it begins with images of four zombies bloody devouring a corpse and one of them, named Dante, erupting into song. So this is a musical. And what is Dante singing about? About the aimlessness in his life and his need for love ‘… I want to know that I am real… I don’t want merely to survive… I just want to feel alive…’. Dante wants more from life than his 200-year zombie life has afforded him so far. And why not? After all, you are not a zombie voluntarily and it does not always mean that you are just an insensible living dead with the sole purpose of satisfying its eternal hunger.
And that certainly applies to Dante, who is tired of the grind of his zombie existence by now. It comes as a matter of course that he can save the human Claudia from a bunch of grave robbers. Then he falls in love with her instantly. After her initial shock about his appearance, thanks to his knightly rescue, she cannot forget him and she also starts to review her opinion about zombies ‘… I thought that zombies were unkind, did he make me change my mind?…’. Something that Dante is not aware of, however, and he decides to make his appearance with make-up a bit more human again to get in touch with her.
These are quite unusual starting points and developments that pass by. After the opening scene, it will be clear that Dante’s zombie nature and that of his friends is not really of a traditional nature. And that what is to come in terms of horror will probably not be too hairy. For the zombie and horror fan, however, it will not be an obstacle to sit down for this ‘Zombie Love’.
First of all, you can fully sympathize with the soul emotions of both Dante and Claudia. On the one hand, Dante is under pressure from his zombie friends to become a righteous human-devouring zombie again. But he cannot and does not want to give up Claudia. Although in his human disguise, he has remarkably glued up his face, he cannot reveal himself to Claudia because his zombie body looks pitiful. The attraction and repulsion between Dante in disguise and Claudia makes her doubt whether he is the one. They are soul emotions that are displayed in such a way that the necessary identification with both of them will arise.
Without it all being overloaded. And because of the humor that has been incorporated into the story. In itself because of the unusual story alone, but also because of statements, dialogues and situations in which the humorous approach is clearly present. Dante’s zombie friend who wants to dissuade him from his intention ‘… humans… we’ve evolved, they didn’t… they are food, nothing more and we do not philosophize with food…’. Dante’s zombie buddies who show their social side when they bring him a human snack ‘… what can I offer you… a liver? Perhaps a kidney? It always was your favorite… ‘. Dante who robs a female victim of her makeup in order to disguise herself as a human being,
They are also fun and especially catchy songs that pass by. In which both the necessary drama and humor have been incorporated. Furthermore, the zombie appearance of Dante and his friends is well taken care of and the choreography is nicely done. And even though the horror is not chilling, there are some nice scenes for fans of the more explicit horror work: Dante losing a finger, Dante having a meal with his friends, a human victim whose remains are clearly visible … . gory images that, in view of Dante’s not entirely deniable zombie nature, make an appropriate impression, although it is not presented too explicitly, something that this production does not need to provide the necessary successful entertainment.
Neat acting by Brad Culver and Esme Allen as well as the soul-tormented Dante and Claudia. The chemistry between the two of them boosts the viewing pleasure considerably. Nice work from the other cast members who come across as convincing in the portrayal of Dante’s friends when they try to put their stray zombie brother on the right zombie path. Also from the actors and actresses around it neat work, although most attention is paid to Claudia and Dante and their zombie mates. All involved are clearly enjoying it and put their best zombie legs in front, also during the various dances. It makes this relatively short ‘Zombie Love’ a film that reflects on the differences between humans and zombies, and by extension not only between them, despite the necessary obstacles can still be overcome. And above all, it is a successful and entertaining zombie musical in which the ingredients song, dance, horror and comedy come along in a fun mix and will easily hold the attention of the fans of the different genres from start to finish.