Published Jul 01, 2005While it's easy for zombies to multiply in the celluloid world, it's becoming increasingly easier and more popular for zombie movies to multiply, as they seem to do persistently, both in the film and music video mediums.
Made back in 2003, Kephart's zombie love story is more on par with Shaun of the Dead, falling under the category of "light-hearted undead romance," with more of a blatant B-movie soap opera horror flick feel. The film immediately begins with a source for the zombie epidemic when a mysterious little creature attacks a lumberjack and leaves him for (un)dead. Making it to a nearby hospital, the plaid axe-man falls for a pathetic and unpopular nurse named Patsy Powers, eventually biting her before his demise at the hands of a zombie-fearing janitor. Patsy soon finds herself changing into a sexy nympho and begins to convert her co-workers to help keep her flesh from rotting in order to seduce the hunky Dr. Dox. Enter a nemesis: Dox's fiancé Goodie Tueschuze, who discovers Patsy's plan and tries to expose her before everyone is zombified.
Shot in Techniscope, a low-budget, yet vivid style of shooting, Graveyard looks sublime, but nonetheless suffers from way too many problems. Kephart doesn't stay true to the zombie rulebook, drastically rewriting it (inconsistently, might I add - check the mindless grunting security guards who clash with the rest of the speaking, humanly cast) so the undead can continue life as humans, as long as they can feed; as well, the only way to kill them is with a butter knife through the eye socket. While some may be entertained by the development it feels amateurish, just like her cheap attempts to add gore. The low budget restraints are unfortunate, but it's rather sad to see that Kephart resorts to deli meat for guts and cheap latex for dying skin, which produce flawed results instead of the presumably comical schlock.
Not to keep kicking the film while it's down but Kephart also fails to present a likable character, or at least one the audience can root for. Patsy is deplorably weak, both as a hapless human and as a diabolical killer. Goodie doesn't fare much better, even when she sheds her obnoxious arrogance in the end to save the world. Worst of all though is Dox, a character that tries so hard to parody the studly clichéd soap doctor, yet fails miserably each time he haughtily grins at the camera. Few laughs and even fewer gross-outs make Graveyard an inadequate film that will likely only survive on its zombie subtitle and charitable indie status. (Reaction/Alcina)