Friday, October 21, 2011
Make-Out With Violence
A small town mourns the apparent death of Wendy, a teenage girl that everybody loved. Twin brothers Carol and Patrick and their young brother Beetle are taking it especially hard... until they find that Wendy has returned from the dead, as a zombie, and they decide to take her in.
Make-Out with Violence initially got on my radar because the premise sounded a bit like Deadgirl, a movie I kinda hated. I wanted to see what someone else would do with similar material, and much to my delight, the two films couldn't be more different. Deadgirl is a film about teenage boys who find a female zombie and rape her. Make-Out with Violence is a film about teenage boys who find a female zombie, and care for and fall in love with her. In fact, Make-Out isn't really a horror film, it's more like someone took a quirky, coming of age, indie comedy drama and added an offbeat horror movie twist to it. It evokes the films of Wes Anderson, or Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides, or, as my wife astutely pointed out, The Adventures of Pete and Pete (although much less wacky).
Sometimes on my blog I think maybe I'm prone to complaining about the technical aspects of low budget films, and I worry that maybe I come off as trashing those movies simply for their limited means, meanwhile praising other movies simply for having better resources. But that's not what I mean to say. My problem is with the low budget films with no vision, or the ones ambitious in the wrong ways. Too many low budget horror movies want to emulate more effects/set-design/money driven films that they can't hope to match, and end up looking shoddy and laughable.
Make-Out with violence is so cheap it that I'm basically assuming that it was made by a group of friends in their back yards, but it has a real style, tone and point of view to it. It's a real movie by real filmmakers, and although far from perfect and a little derivative, it is strange, effective and a little poignant. It over relies on its ubiquitous, standard issue, soft rock indie soundtrack, and it mishandles a potentially great ending for a bit of a last minute let down, but it's still the kind of thing that gives indie movies a good name. It's the directorial debut of the Deagol Brothers (really brothers? I can't find their names online), and I am definitely on board if they make another feature.