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April 27, 2011

Movie Review: Melvin (2011)

Every now and then, you run into an indie horror flick that reminds you what independent really means. Melvin was shot for very little money in Oregon, and it used a small local cast that also served as crew. It reminded me of many of the early shot-on-DV movies I've seen. I really had fun with it, and there's a reason. They didn't try too hard.

Buy Melvin on DVD

I recently got tons of shit for my negative review of Hanger, but I stand by it. Movies like Melvin are much more enjoyable. First off, there is a story that makes sense. Melvin is a nerdy high school kid that dies accidentally during a prank. A few years later, his sister makes friends with a nerd in college named Norton, and Melvin decides to use him to get revenge on his killers.

This is a zombie movie on the surface, but it has its own take on the genre. We don't really ever see the zombie as the hero. Early in the film, we see Norton and Melvin getting harassed by the same bullies at different times. They have common friends and common enemies. When the zombie Melvin bites Norton, Norton kills him, leaving Melvin's ghost to follow Norton around. Norton turns into a zombie, but very slowly. He does so only at night, and can't remember what he's done a la the Wolfman. In the end, the nerd gets the girl, but I won't tell you how.

Melvin has good pacing, decent characters, and fun bloody kills. The acting is close to terrible, but I think they know that. The dialogue sounds like it's all done in voice over and laid in later. It reminded me a lot of The Toxic Avenger. There's even a cameo by Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman as the killer in a movie within the movie. The trailer for that movie, called Night of the Driller, is featured in the end credits.

Melvin is fun and has an original viewpoint, and you can tell the cast and crew had fun making it. It's a quick 75 minutes, and it goes right along. You won't be bored, and it's something you can watch more than once. I'll definitely pass this along to any zombie fanatics.

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