Ben and Mickey are two former baseball players making their way, aimlessly, through a world that has been ravaged by zombies.
This is a very low-key zombie film; so if you’re expecting people getting eaten by the undead, look elsewhere. Ben and Mickey are our leads and are pretty much the only characters we see. They were formal baseball players who hung out in different circles, but have buddied up to survive the zombie apocalypse. Having said ‘zombie apocalypse’, there are very few zombies. The film is about the relationship between Ben and Mickey – two very different people, whose differences not only cause them to clash, but also keep each other alive.
Ben enjoys the nomad lifestyle and does all the killing, Mickey is terrified of zombies and yearns to settle down with a girl. It’s not a deep film that focuses on death and the loss of humanity, but instead a light sort-of-bromance drama that focus on living, which makes a refreshing change in the zombie genre.
The acting is good; Jeremy Gardner and Adam Cronheim have really good chemistry and play off each other well. The characters are likable and feel like real people. Like the plot, the entire feel of the film stays away from the generally gritty and dark atmosphere that zombie films tend to do. The cinematography is bright and sunny, the soundtrack is composed of some nice indie rock music (but not the overly cliche types). It’s not a rapid paced film and there is a lovely 11 minute long take near the end (I really love long takes), which perfectly suits the film and makes it all the more effective.
Amongst the many mindless zombie films churned out every year, occasionally I come across a film that ‘gets’ zombies. This is one of them. As mentioned, if you’re looking for a dark and gritty violent zombie film, this is not it. If you’re looking for a low-key zombie film that focuses on its characters and the relationships that come about in such a scenario, then this will be more your style. Despite being slow, it is never boring and never empty. It is not perfect – although I can’t say what exactly is missing – but it’s a very well-made film that is especially recommended for anyone who’s fed up with the overdone romanticism of typical zombie survival stories and wants something new.