Anger of the Dead – A Short Film by Francesco Picone

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Anger of the Dead poster

Francesco Picone writes and directs this zombie short from Italy.

Alice (Serena Bilanceri) and Nicholas (Federico Mariotti) attempt to stay alive in a post-apocalyptic, zombie addled world but there are worse things out there than zombies and he is riding a motorcycle after them.

Another entry in to the popular zombie horror genre, Anger of the Dead is an entertaining and well made short.

What the film does well is hint at the further back story and relationships between its characters without spelling it out for you. Opening before the zombie outbreak we are placed into a conversation between the lead couple that effectively conveys their fading relationship, Alice desperately trying to tell Nicholas something, Nicholas barely bothering to look over his paper. Later as we move to a post outbreak world, their relationship with a violent biker, think an evil Daryl Dixon type, is hinted at, but never fully spelled out. This is important in a short film, helping to flesh out a backstory and a world that you are only in for a short amount of time, to make it feel more fully formed and real.

The zombies themselves are well acted and presented, all puffy faces and blood drenched mouths. Picone has taken a different and interesting angle to them, basing their behaviour on a very powerful and human emotion, that of anger, hence the title. Similar to 28 Days Later’s Rage virus, which turned its victims into violent zombies driven by hate, Picone’s zombies seem to also turn and be driven through this emotion. The puffy design of their faces helps convey this furrowed brow, angry expression making them a threatening looking on screen presence. They snarl and snatch making the anger of a zombie seem more obvious than the usual violent hunger.

The film is nicely shot, the handheld camerawork and grey colour palette giving it a gritty and bleak feel but also allowing us to get up close and personal in the action. The actors throw themselves into the roles, getting down and dirty in the action and Alex Lucchesi is obviously enjoying himself as the evil Mr Z 77. The soundtrack has a hint of the synth scores that permeated many 70’s and 80’s horror films such as Day of the Dead and Zombie Flesh Eaters. Disappointingly some of the English subtitles aren’t quite right, which does confuse things, but doesn’t affect the overall enjoyment.

The film has ridden the festival circuit, picking up several awards along the way, and is now available for purchase on DVD.

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