Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Mulberry Street: Movie Review #7
Last year's Horrorfest was, in a nutshell, a huge letdown for horror fans worldwide. I fell for the pitch "8 Films To Die For," horror movies too graphic to be shown in theaters, and rented The Abandoned, vowing afterwards never to peep another Horrorfest film again. The previews looked amazing, but the films failed to deliver on all fronts.
Therefore, I was skeptical when I saw 2007's new films, but after reading the Rue Morgue review of Mulberry Street I decided to give it a chance. The movie was exactly as the magazine described it - low budget horror with high quality impact. It is amazing what a director and team can pull off with only a $25,000 budget. Set in my hometown of NYC, the plot unravels around a group of project residents, whose building is being revamped and their leases re-evaluated. The city falls victim to a zombie rat outbreak, and presents the plague as just another downside to living in the Big Apple - right alongside high priced apartments, cut throat business competition, and awful living conditions.
Most of the actors are not actors at all, but real people living in the city, and after a group of residents refused to have their apartments used for the making of the flim, the crew was forced to shoot all the scenes in the same apartment. After various set changes, it is not at all noticeable. Footage of "riots" and "protests" are actually captured footage of parades and gatherings on the streets of New York, but are convincing when used in the context of a news flash surrounding the rat infestation. Innocent footage of rats scurrying around the streets and sewers is edited in such a way that you are on the edge of your seat the entire time.
The gore is simply awesome, and depicted in darkness - scenes where the rat zombies feed on their victims definitely do the job of making your stomach turn. Who really cares what the plot is after all - the bottom line is people are mutating from rat bites, and terrorizing the city in a style reminiscent of George Romero's films. What more do you really need to know?
My next viewing from Horrorfest will be Crazy Eights - I'll keep you posted . . .