- Elf 2017
Silent Night, Zombie Night
Sean Cain, Wes Laurie, Mary Laurie (executive) for Velvet Hammer Films, ArsonCuff Entertainment
directed by Sean Cain
starring Jack Forcinito, Andy Hopper, Nadine Stenovitch, Lew Temple, Vernon Wells, Felissa Rose, Timothy Muskatell, Luke Y.Thompson, Sara Tomko, Ricardo Gray, John Karyus, Jimmy Williams, Domiziano Arcangeli, Chris Gabriel, Krisondra Daigneault, Melanie Doyle, Jordan Lawson, Sean Gordon, Jason Passama, Matt Cain, Shelli Merrill, Bill Snyder, Brianna Avendano, Brian Bosen, Shawn Carlow, Dave Corsile, Bryan Coyne, Sean Decker, Diana de Mol, Erick Feigin, Megan Frances, Elizabeth Leigh Frazer, Chad Clinton Freeman, Geri Gilmore, Derek Houck, Margaret Jefferson, Kai Lanette, Wes Laurie, Chad Meisenheimer, Jesse Lee Nunn, Brandy Perry, Roland Pogosan, Shane Ryan, Aramis Sartorio, Dylan Shults, Tristian Shults, Linda Slade, Tess Thomas, Edward Tubbs, James Tubbs, Mariel Villavicencio, Victoria Bouett, Nadia Guardado, Tatiana Prieto, T.J. Roe, Reena Rexrode, Doug Jones
written by Sean Cain, music by Mario Salvucci, special effects by Tom Devlin/1313 FX
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Cops, lifelong friends and partners Frank (Jack Forcinito) and Nash
(Andy Hopper) have a fall-out, mainly because Frank, when drunk the other
night, has beaten up Nash, and because he suspects Nash to have an affair
with his wife Sarah (Nadine Stenovitch). Of course, they have picked the
very worst time to have their little fall-out, because zombies are about
to take over the city, zombies that eat and kill the living (preferably in
that order), and whose bite is highly infectuous and turns the victim into
a zombie himself within minutes. And while Frank and Nash are still busy
sorting out their issues, Nash is bitten by a zombie. Now Frank is pissed
off concerning Nash's behavious, but he's still friend enough to drag him
to safety, to Nash's house that's just around the corner, to burn out the
wound and keep the infection from spreading.
However, at Nash's house,
Frank is in for another shock: His wife, with a few bags she calls her
own, seems to have found abode there. This only ignites Frank's feeling of
jealousy (and can you blame him?), and it takes Sarah quite some time to
convince him she never had an affair with Nash, left Frank only because he
was an asshole, and only ended up at Nash's place because she had nowhere
else to go.
Eventually, Frank finds out that the zombies react only to
scent, and he uses a hunters' spray to render himself scentless and scout
the neighbourhood - and soon enough, he meets Jeff (Lew Temple), a living
human being who hides up in his attic and who acts a bit weird - but
wouldn't we all in a situation like this?
While Frank is out, Nash comes
to, and since he is still in no condition to do anything, he and Sarah get
drunk, and in his drunken state, he confesses his love to Sarah, and the
two end up kissing each other.
It's only the next morning that Nash
feels fit enough to do some scouting himself, and he eventually makes it
to Jeff's house - where he is shot in the head by Frank, who was mistaking
him for a zombie. It certainly wasn't what he was planning to do, as he's
no killer, but after their recent fall-out he's not too sorry either.
Frank has made it back to Sarah, they soon bump into Paul (Vernon Wells)
and Elsa (Felissa Rose), two mercenaries-out-of-necessity who offer to
drive them to a safe haven. Sarah and Frank are grateful, and Frank also
direct them to Jeff's place - where Paul and Elsa walk into an ambush and
while Paul is killed Elsa only just makes it back to Frank and Sarah, but
Frank doesn't trust her anymore and cuffs her to the bathroom window to
see whether or not she is going to turn into a zombie.
Nash hasn't died
though and has been brought up to the attic by Jeff and nursed back to
health, and after Jeff is killed in the next zombie attack, Nash decides
it is time to settle the score with Frank once and for all. He finally
catches up with Frank after fighting his way through hordes of zombies,
but when they prepare to duel each other, they are interrupted by a
particularly nasty zombie - and have to realize they have both run out of
ammunition. So they have to tackle the zombie mano a mano ...
catches up with Frank and Nash, she finds them both on the verge of
turning into zombies. Sure, they have killed their zombie attacker, but
not before he has bitten them both - and now Sarah has to kill the two men
who have loved her in order to save them and herself ...
movies in recent years have become even more clichéed than they ever
were, little more than hommages to the genre classics that take their
audience to the slaughterhouse and back, with little new to offer and
following a formula so rigid that one starts to wonder if there ever will
be another way to tell the same story. Not that all zombiefilms of late
are necessarily bad, they are just overly formulaic and not too inventive.
then Silent Night, Zombie Night comes along and proves to be the
exception to the rule and evidence that there is still fresh blood in the
genre: The point here is that Silent Night, Zombie Night has an
actual story to tell that goes beyond the dead attack and humankind
fights for survival, that is carried by strong characters rather than
gore effects (though there is plenty of those as well), and that - just
like all the better zombie-films since the original Night
of the Living Dead - doesn't bore the audience with another cheesy
zombie origin-tale. Add to this a competent cast, and a compact,
no-nonsense directorial effort that relies on tension, suspense and
atmosphere, and you've got one of the most original zombie flicks that was
made in the last 10 years, at least.