Zombie Castle Day

This is a special ZOMBIE DAY event organised by Silent Studios / Haunted / After Dark Magazine taking place inside Colchester Castle on Wednesday 3rd April from 9:30am to 5pm

There will be a day of all things Zombie including Xtreme Gaming, Comic Book Stalls, Displays and Celebrity Events… plus a double-bill screening provided by Moving Image of two recent Zombie features, ‘Ace The Zombie’, and ‘Before Dawn’. For further details and ticket enquiries please contact Ace Comics in Colchester http://acecomics.co.uk. Ticket prices are £5 for a general ticket or £20 for a special over-18’s VIP ticket with entry to extra competitions and events.

Ace The Zombie

“It has been many years since the first zombie outbreaks and the World Health Organization has introduced a ‘miracle’ drug called Zom-Calm. While not exactly a cure, it curbs the undead appetite for living flesh, and zombies now occupy almost twenty percent of the national work force.”

A military experiment gone horribly wrong… a zombie apocalypse… then ZOM-CALM! A revolutionary drug from the World Health Organization. Allen Christopher Edwards, our unlikely hero, gets taken advantage of by everyone from his boss and co-workers to his girlfriend Brenda… until one fateful afternoon. When Ace is bitten and subsequently captured by the Zombie Control Force he learns of a secret plot by the evil Keeper Ellis to rid the world of all zombies. Can you cure death? Will Undead Americans ever be granted equal rights? The lives of all American undead, and the fate of entire world, depends on one man: Ace The Zombie.”

(Notes by ATZ production company The DeVille)

Ace The Zombie
Stars: Mark Drum
Director Giles Shepherd
USA 2012
110 mins

(No UK Certificate available yet so we suggest you assume it’s Cert 18. Categorised as Horror/Comedy)

Official production website: http://www.acethezombie.com/
IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1843843/

Before Dawn

An estranged couple’s vacation to save their troubled relationship goes awry when they find themselves under attack from the walking dead.

“What Before Dawn has managed to do is give a well needed dose of life and energy into a sub-genre which has been faltering somewhat of late. The tone, pace and aesthetic of the film are all marvellous. The relationship between Alex and Meg is so engrossing and believable that it draws you right in. This is very much an examination of human interaction, in which the zombie apocalypse just so happens to be occurring in the background.

The pathos which is generated by the shambling, partially alcoholic Alex is a stark contrast to the energetic and productive Meg; however, an emptiness exists in them both, cleverly accentuated by sharp, penetrating dialogue. The subtle jibes which they make at each other, even in the midst of kind gestures will ring true to anyone whose relationship has passed the point of no return. Alex’s strained interactions with this mother in law are also particularly well written and delivered.

Nicky Evans’ Alex is one of the finest examples of survivalist character to appear in many years. He manages to generate both suspicion and empathy simultaneously, his appearance climaxing in a particularly effecting manner.

This is not to categorise the film as a kitchen sink drama with zombies either, for that would be an injustice. It is merely the fact that the richness and depth of the characters on screen generates a connection that is rarely seen in genre features. A marvellous combination of astute filmmaking and deft knowledge of the horror film, Before Dawn is a film which warrants multiple viewings to allow the multitude of subtleties to sink in.

Where the film really succeeds is that it delivers on the gore front as well. The zombies are of a new ilk, one which manages to create a new strain of terror, just when we thought we’d seen it all. Their stripped, shorn faces, accentuated by blood red eyes and frantic lunges become terrifying and we begin to feel as edgy as the characters within the piece.

Before Dawn is a rare treat, an intelligent genre piece which has so much to offer. The performances are a testament to all involved and certainly one of the most talked about movies at Grimmfest. If there is any justice in the, this movie will take pride of place in any discerning horror fans collection. I can only hope that this is merely the first that we’ve seen of Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell. ”

Colin McCracken

Before Dawn
Stars: Dominic Brunt, Joanne Mitchell, Eileen O’Brien
Director Dominic Brunt
UK 2012
82 mins

(No UK Certificate available yet so again we suggest you assume it’s Cert 18. Categorised as Horror)

Read Colin McCracken’s entertaining cast interview: http://zombiehamster.com/index.php/2012/10/14/before-dawn-2012-cast-and-crew-interview/
IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1928123/