The Stink of Flesh Scott Phillips

With each new zombie film review written comes the realisation that this horror sub-genre is on the verge of getting out of hand. Scott Phillips's The Stink of Flesh though is a real low-budget indie flick, and damn has he made a go at something different. Set in a "zombie wasteland," Stink doesn't so much have a plot as it does a game of survival in a barren part of Mexico where the humans are scarce and the zombies roam rampant. Matool (Kurly Tlapoyawa) is a self-sufficient zombie killer who hammers nails into undead craniums and provides some nicely played over-the-top Mexican machismo. When a swinging married couple, Nathan and Dexy, kidnap him and a young boy he rescued and take them back to their home, Matool realises that things can work in his favour as he's granted sexual privileges and a place to live. However, his plans are stymied and things get dangerous when army commandos, one of which has been bitten, seek shelter at the house and eventually lead to the characters' ruin. Stink works the zombie template nicely, following the rules of past classics while providing some freshness to the sub-genre. The cast tend to overact, but in a very rudimentary way that's more in your face than "amateur hour." Phillips also plays the horror card nicely, including lots of effective blood spurting and guts, an explanation as to why some zombies are faster than others (a new strain of virus is the result of speed) and even introduces some firsts, such as zombie faeces (filled with human hair and teeth) and one of the most outrageous scenes to date: a man raping a zombie, which is as shocking as it sounds. Given a big budget, who knows what this film would have been like, but Stink thrives in having fun and pushing the boundaries on a respectably modest budget. Plus: commentary, featurette, outtakes. (Tempe/SMA)