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DVD Review

DVD cover

Zombie Virus on Mulberry Street


Starring: Nick Damici and Kim Blair
Momentum Pictures
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 18
Available 18 May 2009

A small group of middle-aged or elderly people occupy a run-down tenement building which is due for demolition. One such occupant is Clutch, an ex-boxer who helps the others where he can. Having been contacted by his estranged daughter, he eagerly but anxiously awaits her arrival. Meanwhile, there are a number of isolated attacks on people by mutated rats in the subways. These vicious assaults soon escalate in numbers, until the stations are closed by police investigating the incidents. The daughter, back from Iraq, initially arrives at New York’s Manhattan Island by train but then has to make her way across the city on foot. By now the infection has spread, with human-rat hybrids ravaging the population. When the island is sealed-off from the outbreak, the ex-boxer is forced to venture outside to look for his daughter...

The first noticeable thing about this film is how quickly and easily the central characters are grasped. They possess very different traits and personalities but are very nearly caricatures: the kind-hearted but tough ex-boxer, the gay black man, the grumpy old ex-soldier, the single mother trying to make ends meet, etc. The screenplay manages to successfully walk a fine line  between giving the viewing audience time to get to know the cast before anything of any great significance happens and boring them half to death with non-events.

As I’m certain I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, I’m not especially enamoured by zombie movies. I think the problem lies with the sheer number of movies made around this premise, the vast majority copying the same old format (with buckets of blood) with no variations on the theme. Of course, there are a few exceptions, most notably Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead, and 28 Days Later. Here there is an attempt to create something a little different - at least as far as the creature creations are concerned. The results might have been comical but for that fact there are so many close-ups and quick cuts that you’d hardly know they were rat-people in the first place. In fact, most of the film is shot in close-ups, making events within the building at times difficult to follow.

This is an average, mildly entertaining film; better than most generically produced zombie remakes, but sadly nothing special. What is does have going for it is the normal realistic characters you can believe in. However, the ending is a little nonsensical, and there is an emulation of the final scene from the aforementioned classic Night of the Living Dead.


Ty Power

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