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FILM: 28 DAYS
MY LITTLE EYE
BY JACOB ZHIVOV
& DAVID BLUMENSTEIN
September 4, 2003
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It's Horror Thursday here on McGinlay's,
as the studios have decided to release this week not
one, but three horror movies. So let's start with 28
The British film industry is excellent
at doing dramatic films even if they are based in another
genre like horror. It must be something to do with the
heavy theatrical background of the actors and script
So here's our plot. Some animal liberationists
break into a research lab in London and release a bunch
of monkeys. These monkeys, however, have been infected
with a super rage virus thing which can be passed on
through their blood. 28 Days Later
Murphy) wakes up from a coma in a London hospital to
find the hospital deserted -- and the rest of London
By degrees he comes to learn that in the
past 28 days, the blood-borne virus has swept across
England, Paris and New York, killing many and turning
most into murderous zombies. After coming across a handful
of uninfected people, Jim and his companions find that
Manchester is where the uninfected are gathering. So
off they go...
This film is excellent. The tone is set
quite early on and our characters are developed really
well. The overall need for survival that we instinctively
have is well explored and the ruthless and realistic
decisions our characters have to make allow the audience
to feel a sense of reality in this situation. One of
the other reviewers told me that there was originally
a more gruesome ending to this film, but even with this
one it's still awesome.
Unlike 28 Days Later, Undead is not a
serious thriller -- it's proud to be a B-grade gorefest.
Now reviewers like Harry Knowles and Margaret
and David loved this film but the only way I could describe
my opinion is with a "eh". I love B grade
zombie films, actually, I'm well known for watching
really bad films just to see how bad they are. And apparently
this was meant to be a tongue in cheek "homage"
to these films. Quite frankly I didn't see it.
Don't get me wrong: the idea that a meteorite
makes all the people in the small town of Berkeley suddenly
become zombies, and only a few are left to save the
world sounds like a great zombie film plot. But it just
didn't live up to my expectation. The zombies looked
good and it does have some really funny moments like,
Marion, the town loony, who is prepared to fight the
zombies with a three barrel shot gun and what seems
to be an endless supply of guns is my favourite thing
of this film but as I said it's really a film that makes
you go "eh" when you leave it.
It feels really mean to say anything bad
about a film like this.
The script is weak and the acting is sub-Neighbours,
but the effects are very good for the budget.
I haven't seen many zombie films, so I
can't compare, but I have seen some wacky, silly, amateurish
movies and this is one of them. I enjoyed others more,
though (most blaxploitation movies have better music.
Is there a market for a zombie film with a lot of dirty
funk in it?).
There were a few genuine laughs, some
scenes were nicely done (the ending's pretty cool) and
there were a lot of uniquely Australian jokes and character
moments which I appreciated. However, it generally drags
a bit, and it goes for an EVIL DEAD kind of cool but
doesn't quite make it.
I think most of the kudos the film gets
will be because it's great that the directors (the Spierigs,
brothers) got the film made without government assistance
and that they got it a no-foolin' cinema release. They
deserve a lot of respect for that. They also deserve
to be given ten million dollars and an excellent script.
Hopefully somebody will pony up.
The other day Adam went to me, "When
do you think they're going to make a horror film based
in a Big Brother-type house?" Well, wait no longer
my friends: My Little Eye finally answers that question.
So five young people apply to live in
an isolated house together for six months whilst their
every move is filmed by numerous cameras. Each has their
reason for wanting to be there -- fame, money, adventure.
The prize is $1 million but the rules are if one person
leaves, everyone loses. But when suddenly the housemates
are taunted to leave by letters about deaths in the
family as well as skeletons from their closets it becomes
a morality test of greed versus compassion.
I really liked the first hour or so of
this film. It set up the characters, the isolation of
where they are and the tension of not knowing when they
are getting out. But the last thirty minutes of this
95 minute film are standard slasher action which really
annoyed me. So maybe the next time they make one of
these films they will leave in the other 30 minutes
28 DAYS LATER stars Cillian Murphy, Naomie
Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Megan Burns and Brendan
Gleeson. It's rated MA and runs 113 minutes. It opens
UNDEAD stars Felicity Mason, Mungo McKay,
Rob Jenkins, Lisa Cunningham, Emma Randall and Dirk
Hunter. It's rated MA and runs 104 minutes. It also
MY LITTLE EYE stars Sean Cw Johnson,
Jennifer Sky, Kris Lemche, Stephen O'Reilly, Laura Regan,
Bradley Cooper and Nick Mennell. It's rated MA and runs
95 minutes. Would you believe it also opens today? What
an age we live in.