Fantastic Fest's undead buddy dramedy THE REVENANT has a fan in Quint!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here reporting on more Fantastic Fest goodies!
Harry was loudly singing the praises of an unknown film from a new set of filmmakers that debuted at CineVegas called THE REVENANT. He loved that film so much he pressed Tim League and the Alamo’s crack team of Fantastic Fest programmers to consider it for Fantastic Fest.
And I gotta say the big man isn’t wrong. This flick is the real deal, a well-made undead bromance comedy/drama. Yes, I realize that me using the term “bromance” completely discredits everything I have to say about anything ever, but it’s an accurate word.
THE REVENANT is about a soldier who returns from Iraq in a coffin. His loser best friend and super hot girlfriend mourn him, but they don’t have to mourn him for long. The dude wakes up, but it’s not a premature burial. He was fully embalmed and autopsied… he’s dead, dead, dead.
Or rather undead. But he’s himself. Just dead. The big question is what is he? Is he a zombie? Not really… he still has personality. Is he a vampire? Maybe closer to that, but the image of a vampire isn’t of a being with rotting flesh.
That’s the fun of the film. Writer/director Kerry Prior creates his own mythology and populates the story with real, funny characters.
I love that the movie has a big turning point about halfway through and goes into an almost undead Robocop territory.
The tone is odd and will either be what makes the film for you or turns you off of it completely. It’s a dark movie, but also a really funny comedy. There’s a ton of gore. Some of it is fun and cartoony, some of it is graphic and real.
I guess it depends if you find that inconsistent or if you believe Prior is using these tonal shifts to keep you on your toes and involved in the story. I mean, life can alternate radically from hour to hour in any given day, so why not a movie? I’ve never really been bothered by stuff like that in films as long as it serves the narrative.
Prior also lucked out casting David Anders (Adam Monroe on HEROES) as the undead soldier and Chris Wylde as the Ed to Anders’ Shaun. Their friendship is the heart of the movie and the aspect of the flick that works so well that it separates REVENANT from 98% of the crappy DTV schlockfest indies that are produced every year.
The gore helps, too. There’s some extremely well executed limb removals and talking decapitated heads in here. There’s also a character who, at one point, doesn’t have eyelids anymore and fuck me is the effect disturbing. I was surprised at the quality of what was obviously a digital or at the very least digitally enhanced series of shots.
The filmmakers are still tweaking the movie, which is smart. At nearly 2 hours it is a little long, but I couldn’t tell them what to lose. Some of the character moments between Anders and Wylde that don’t propel the movie forward plot-wise are my favorite things in the movie.
My advice would be to concentrate on those two. Their relationship has to work for this movie to work, so the balance between plot-intensive scenes and character development scenes should be tilted more in the favor of the latter. At least that’s what I feel.
Also, I’d get rid of most of those ugly, ugly digital lens flares that happen toward the end of the film. Please and thank you.
THE REVENANT is still looking for an American distributor. I can’t imagine a Magnolia or at least an Anchor Bay wanting this flick to put out in a limited release. It’s good enough to play theaters and shouldn’t be sent to direct to video jail.
I think we’re going to see a lot from Mr. Prior in the coming years. He did so much with very little in this film without losing the ability to paint an entertaining picture or sacrificing production value.
Really fun, really gory, really off-kilter undead buddy flick. See it if you have the chance!
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Sept. 28, 2009, 4:25 a.m. CST
Return of the living dead 3 only instead of a Kick ass girlfriend zombie they have a buddy guy friend xombie.
Sept. 28, 2009, 4:33 a.m. CST
..and I usually trust Quint.
Sept. 28, 2009, 5:20 a.m. CST
He and David had a best-buds-even-in-death thing going on, and of course the lovely-and-always-naked Jenny Agutter playing the damsel.
Sept. 28, 2009, 7:18 a.m. CST
Will definitely check it out.
Sept. 28, 2009, 7:27 a.m. CST
Can't wait to pay Trick R Treat a visit.
Sept. 28, 2009, 8:06 a.m. CST
Roman Polanski has been arrested!, he may get dragged back to the US for being a nonce!dirty bastard!
Sept. 28, 2009, 8:24 a.m. CST
He was however, a fugitive from the law. If you saw the documentary "Polanski : Wanted and Desired" it appears there were sufficient irregularities in the original case, to warrent it being dismissed. But obviously, that hasn't been done.
Sept. 28, 2009, 8:41 a.m. CST
The "victim" also wants the case dropped, but the "victim" also wanted to have sex with an adult when she was only 13 so i dont think shes of the right state of mind to be dismissing anything. the fact it a grown man took advantage of a very young girl and ran like hell at the first opertunity because he knows the law is the law for a reason , to protect kids from weirdos like him , and as for the "well it was a long time ago" argument? Jesus H Christ! its like the worlds on crazy pills! murderers get caught years after the crime and sentenced all the time, they dont say " well that guy i murdered back in 1985 was 75 so he'd be dead now anyways"
Sept. 28, 2009, 11:45 a.m. CST
The thumbnail on the FantasticFest site had me convinced it was Anthony Stewart Head on the movie.
Sept. 28, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST
Thank you JJ Abrams.
Sept. 28, 2009, 8:45 p.m. CST
Sept. 28, 2009, 10:50 p.m. CST
with the tired undead. I'll check it out
Feb. 15, 2010, 2:58 a.m. CST
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Feb. 15, 2010, 2:59 a.m. CST
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