Twitter Plot Summary: A girl is attacked by a guy in an orange jumpsuit. Her father seeks revenge. There’s black bloop involved.
Director: Cesar Ducasse, Mathieu Peteul
Key Cast: Morten Ruda, Kyrre Haugen Sydness, Ida Elise Broch, Johanna Gustavsson, Jan Harstad
Five Point Summary:
1. Guy in an orange jumpsuit with a power drill. Interesting…
2. Just when you think it’s going to be a zombie film, she doesn’t bite him. Bah.
3. So he has a drill, yet all he does is gently tap on the windscreen with it. Buh?
4. Black goo! BLACK GOO!
5. A showdown with drills! Epicness!
A good looking woman is running through a rather nice looking forest when she’s set upon by a man in an orange jumpsuit wielding a power drill, who promptly drills a hole in her skull. As openings go, it’s an interesting twist on the slasher horror trope, more so when it turns out that despite taking a drill to the head, she isn’t dead. Well, not quite. She’s medically dead but then comes back, essentially as a zombie. She doesn’t have a craving for human flesh, but instead vomits up a black, oil-like substance. Soon, she’s not the only person to be afflicted and, because the police aren’t doing enough to solve the crime, the girl’s father goes off and tries to solve it himself.
What starts out as a possibly intriguing take on the zombie genre soon degrades into a film about a vengeful father looking for the man responsible for turning his daughter into a black bile spewing, near brain-dead creature. There’s also a mystery to be solved regarding the driller killer and his motives – he drills women in the head yet bashes in the skulls of men. Some repressed sexual subtext there, it seems. When the women are drilled in the head, they are essentially impregnated with a black gloopy substance that slowly takes over their bodies, which can again be linked to the sexual subtext of drilling them in the head with a power tool.
It improves substantially in the final act, but by that time it’s almost too little too late. There’s a revelation as to the origin of the black gloop and the driller killer with the orange jump suit. The girl’s father, played by Morten Ruda, is a strange choice for lead character, but an inspired one. He doesn’t do all the cliche horror movie tropes that one normally expects from the lead character, and as an older, portly gentleman he plays against that stereotype completely and convincingly. His frequent complaints to the police over their lack of progress in the case is believable in the circumstances, and their general ineffectiveness is quite a pertinent point. I was reminded of the admittedly far better Let Me In in terms of the film’s tone and style, very much at the vanguard of modern European cinema, but it would have benefited more from not being labelled as a zombie film.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been lured in by a cunning film title. Nazi Zombies in particular had no Nazis and almost no zombies. Whilst Dark Souls (for that is its actual name), is nowhere near the same level of atrociousness as Nazi Zombies, I wish filmmakers would have the strength of their convictions and just go with a name that fits the film rather than pandering to the zombie loving masses. If a film is good it will find an audience, but by willingly misleading your audience you’re setting yourself up for a fall. Zombie Driller Killer is a name that implies awesomeness, instead we get a melodrama with the occasional hint of greatness. A shame, but all too common.
Favourite scene: The finale – after all of the generally mundane story this scene makes it all worthwhile. Well, kind of.
Quote: “Innocent people are drilled in the head and left to rot!”
Silly Moment: The black bile stuff. Little bit silly.