Review by Florida Possum
Velvet Road (2011)
Director: L. Gustavo Cooper
Writers: Bragi F. Schut and Alexandria Lewis
Stars: Walter J. Colson, Stephen Ezell, Thomas R. Martin, and Heather Ricks
Velvet Road is unique amongst its peers. In the few brief moments of this film, we are introduced, captivated and become empathetically engaged to the story and its characters.
It could be the fact that I have the rather unique perspective of having grown up in the deep south in the 60s and that I was actually born and raised in the location in which this movie was shot, or, it could be, that for a short, this film is just stand alone spectacular. Whatever the reason, I found this film truly superb. It has all the look and feel of a big budget feature film, without the obligatory and usually overly obvious homage to Hollywood, other directors or other films in the zombie genre.
The story revolves around three main characters, Bobby, Carolyne, and Miles, who find themselves in the midst of a zombie outbreak. They’re terrified, confused, and extremely suspicious of one another. Now you may think this is typical of any zombie movie, but this film is different. The film manages to capture the feel of the very real and present danger the 1960s possessed for anyone living in Florida and through the Cuban Missile Crisis; fear of anything unknown permeated the atmosphere in the south, in the 1960s. As conditions in the movie worsen, so do the fears and suspicions of the characters. Though racial tension was present in the film and the era, I think it more important to take away from this film, the omnipresent fear that was characteristic of this period in history. Duck and cover drills were routine in schools and we all believed a nuclear attack was eminent. Surely a zombie outbreak was not entirely beyond reason. If you stop to consider some of the horror the nuclear age brought, besides utter annihilation, you will find irradiated, overgrown beasts, mutants and of course the first Romero zombie. The Velvet Road slips in amongst this crowd and is perfectly at home.
The story itself, consists of a number of flashbacks where Billy is seen driving his pregnant wife Carolyne to the hospital. The next scene, Billy arises out of unconsciousness in an overturned and wrecked vehicle. Billy then begins his quest to find his wife. That is all I will say about the story line, as the film is short and I wish to give nothing away.
I would like to add how nice it was to see the films attention to detail, right down to the glass door knobs that could have been taken right out of my childhood home. The cinematography, lighting , sound, score and editing hit the bull right between the horns, or should I say the zombie right between the eyes.
Now what I would like to see is a repeat of the frenzy from Comic Con, that brought District 9 from a little independent short film to the big screen. It’s been done before; it can be done again. Raise your shotguns, cross bows and katanas and turn this into a feature film.
This film gets five headshots out of five.
Pam Wilcox for The Electric Chair