Colin (2008)

Rating:

UK. 2008.

Crew

Director/Screenplay/Producer/Photography – Marc Price, Visual Effects – Leigh Crocombe & Justin Hayles, Practical Effects – Leigh Crocombe, Makeup – Michelle Webb. Production Company – Nowhere Fast Films

Cast

Alistair Kirton (Colin), Daisy Aitkens (Linda), Leanne Pammen (Laura), Kate Alderman (False Laura), Tat Whalley (Linda’s Friend)


Plot

Colin is bitten by a zombie in his apartment. He staggers through suburban London as he slowly turns into a zombie. All around him, chaos erupts as the dead turn on the living.


Colin was one of the numerous zombie films that came out amid the genre’s revival in the mid-2000s. This post-2004 renaissance was followed by an enormous number of zombie film imitators mostly of either the low-budget and/or tongue-in-cheek variety. Colin was a debut feature for British director Marc Price who claims to have made the entire film for £45. The makeup used for the numerous splatter effects was apparently borrowed from another production. The cast for the film were all unpaid volunteers recruited online via sites like Myspace and Facebook. The film gained quick word of mouth and played Cannes and other festivals.

Marc Price has given us what in the opening moments literally proves to be a kitchen sink zombie film. One is immediately reminded of Andrew Parkinson’s similar, low-key zombie films I Zombie: A Chronicle of Pain (1998) and Dead Creatures (2001), which also took the approach of telling things from the point-of-view of the zombie. Price’s direction and editing often seems amateurish. This may have turned some off, at least going by a glance at IMDB comments, yet is also something that fails to get in the way of an interesting film.

The result is a very stripped and minimalist work – the majority of it is, for instance, just scenes and set-pieces without much in the way of overall connecting plot and almost no dialogue. The frequently handheld camera is an effect that works for this low-key approach. Particularly good in this regard is one scene that goes on for some ten minutes with a handful of living people being madly mobbed in a room filled to overflowing with dozens of zombies where the cameraperson is in amidst the action in a hair-raisingly intensive way that involves you like few other zombie films do. Some of the most imaginative scenes are those where Colin is recaptured by his family who attempt to get him to remember his old life – there is one particularly good scene where he is locked inside the old family home where his slaverings gradually calm down and we then see them gathered outside talking while he tenderly raises his hand to feebly paw at their images through the glass. The result is far more impressive than the amateur show that we seem to be in for at the outset.

The only point of confusion is the last few minutes where the film gives the impression that it is skipping back to the start of events before Colin was a zombie (where, once we see him without his zombie makeup, Alistair Kirton resembles Jesse Eisenberg). We follow him as we see the character of his girlfriend Laura (Leanne Pammen) get bitten in their apartment and succumb, although in complete contradiction to this we had seen her alive and well during the earlier scenes of the film.

Marc Price has only directed one other film with Magpie (2013), which has not been widely seen. He has also produced Woods of Terror (2009) and Before Dawn (2012).



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