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July 11, 2012

Short Film Review: Velvet Road (2011)

Directed by L. Gustavo Cooper

Starring Walter J. Colson, Stephen Ezell and Thomas R. Martin

The only bad thing about watching a great short film is that you are left wanting and needing more of what you just got a taste of. L. Gustavo Cooper’s Velvet Road is that kind of film. A thoughtfully made 12 minute micro zombie movie, made by zombie fans, for zombie fans.

In the racially charged South of the 1960‘s the black population of a small town is being blamed for the spread of a virulent plague. Bobby, a white mechanic, is racing through the countryside with his wife Carolyne.  She is infected, having suffered a bite and is fading fast.

Awakening later, with his truck on its roof in the middle of the deserted country road, he climbs out of the wreckage to find his wife missing. He then follows a trail of blood down the road where it will eventually lead him to a fateful encounter and a moment where he will be forced to make the most horrifying of decisions.

As much as I would like to spill all the beans on this one, I am going to refrain from the spoilers in the hopes that any zombie fans reading this will be intrigued enough to want to discover on their own what this awesome little short is all about. One of the things I loved about this film was that it sort of pays homage to the grand-daddy of all zombie flicks, Night of the Living Dead, in the sense that its set in the same time period and geographic area, with the racial tension always in the background, but at the same time it has the slick look and feel of the more contemporary heavy-weights of the genre, (think The Walking Dead & the Dawn of the dead remake).

On its own it stands as a fun and engaging little slice of cinema, backed up by an exceptionally well done score that sets a very creepy and foreboding mood. Ultimately though, this is a movie that is just screaming to be taken to the next level and made into a feature film. It shows more heart and passion for the genre in its 12 minutes then 90% of the feature length zombie films I’ve seen in the last year.  L. Gustavo Cooper has himself a true gem here, and hopefully sometime in the near future, the right people see his potential and give him the opportunity to craft this baby into something even bigger and badder, the kind of full length zombie movie that fans like me are waiting for.

Reviewed by KennyB

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