'For A Few Zombies More' Review

Reviewed by Kevin Scott, MoreHorror.com

For A Few Zombies More
Written by Chuck Hartsell, Chance Shirley, Michael Shelton
Directed by Chuck Hartsell, Chance Shirley
Cast: Chuck Hartsell (Chuck), Catherine Kinsey (Girl With No Name), Michael Shelton (Lee/Clint), Chris Hartsell (Jim), Mia Frost (Gail)

Sometimes we are so relentless when it comes to our pursuit of compiling the list of films that will become our new favorites, when we really should leave it up to serendipity the way we did all our old ones. I say that because had I not had a low tolerance to pollen, I woudn’t be writing this now. Back about eight years ago (give or take a year), I was up at two o’clock in the morning dealing with a scathing case of allergies. Before the antihistamines kicked in, I had the privilege of watching the best independent zombie comedy I’d ever seen. I was actually a little blown away at how good it was. From there after, it was on my short list of absolute gems that even seasoned horror and genre aficionados might have missed, but absolutely had to see.

That film was HIDE AND CREEP. It was made by Crewless Productions, and the name describes in a very tongue in cheek way how lean the production team was. It was basically two really talented guys from Alabama with some really loyal and equally talented friends. The plot was pretty simple. A zombie apocalypse gradually takes its toll on a small Alabama town. I said it was simple, but I’m really oversimplifying it. Along the way, there’s some very clever writing involving survivalists, government involvement, mass super market paranoia, zombies being afraid of the dark, and a snarky video store clerk that has an intrinsic knowledge of the difference between dead zombies, infected zombies, and just plain old folks possessed by Kandarian demons. They went on to make an equally clever sci-fi creature film called INTERPLANETARY. However, just like the subject matter, Hide and Creep wouldn’t die. It slowly built an underground cult following, and the Crewless guys let it marinate until it was time to tell the rest of the story.

Enter FOR A FEW ZOMBIES MORE. The title doesn’t go the way of the still unsuccessfully executed western prequel, but it does depict probably pretty accurately how anyone who lives for movies would or could survive in a post-apocalyptic world overtaken by the undead. It’s been 10 years since the outbreak of HIDE AND CREEP, and Chuck, the video store clerk has done the best he can by putting his movie sensibilities to good use and surviving using a gunslinger persona, and a hypothesis that the zombies will eventually rot away if humanity can just stick it out until then. He’s planning on watching movies on various types of antiquated video formats (it is the apocalypse) until all this mess blows over. It’s a solid plan until he meets a girl with no name on a quest to find someone who may have the cure to it all.

When HIDE AND CREEP was released in 2004, it coincided with another film that sported a humorous slant on an undead uprising, SHAUN OF THE DEAD. One thing I can say about the Crewless guys is that they’re a lot like the kids at the science fair where if everyone was given a volcano project, they would make their own real lava and an advanced civilization below for it to fossilize. Any established genre that might’ve fell into the formulaic pitfalls of oversaturation becomes something that shines with completely quotable dialogue and clever social commentary on pop culture, stereotypes, and society in general. FOR A FEW ZOMBIES MORE has the spirit of the first with all the built-in nods from filmmakers who used their pop culture sensibilities gleaned from years of watching all kinds of stuff on VHS. By the way, laserdisc seems to be the most resilient form of film media after the collapse of society, but finding a functional laserdisc player may be way more trouble than its worth.

FOR A FEW ZOMBIES MORE also has a novelization penned by the writer/director Chance Shirley. Novelizations have always filled a much needed niche. Even if you couldn’t talk an adult into taking you to the theater to see the film, the novelization was almost a sure thing if the cover art wasn’t too provocative. It also usually involved using deception on an all too trusting grandparent to seal the deal.

For more about FOR A FEW ZOMBIES MORE and Crewless Productions, visit www.crewless.com.

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