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quietearth [Celluloid 03.08.09] post apocalyptic zombies news short



Last July we wrote about a new post apocalyptic film in development from down under, and while there hasn't been any movement on it that we know of, our friends over at 24fps gave us the heads up that there was a short film they made for it completely available online. So maybe they never planned to make a feature begin with, who knows.

In a war blasted, post apocalyptic landscape a handful of survivors struggle to maintain military order in a world destroyed by a reckless desire to control mother nature. The end is only the beginning.

Short after the break!



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Diligent Ape (9 years ago) Reply

Z3D5 is really well made and it's cool they don't use any language in the movie. However, I think they could have worked the plot a bit more and maybe thrown the whole lesbian thing out. The fact that the heroine is lesbian seems to have no relevance to the movie. I don't like it when fiction uses homosexuality as a trendy "gimmick".

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Anonymous (9 years ago) Reply

Doesn't seem like much changes in Australia in the next 37 years then. A bunch of useless goths and bogans leeching off the rest of society eh?

Terrible film.

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Saladyn (9 years ago) Reply

It wasn't a "gimmick". I think that bloody blonde "stoned" at the end was her lover. This short is not the best I've seen but still it's better then remake of Day of the Living Dead :>

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Diligent Ape (9 years ago) Reply

@Saladyn: That was my impression too. But I still don't feel it's substantial enough. When ever I try to assess this issue, I think "would it have been different if a heterosexual relationship was being portrayed?" If the answer is no, then I don't see any reason to use a homosexual relationship. If nothing is different even though the characters are homosexual, it seems to me that it has been chosen because of its "shocking" or "progressive" effect, when really, it is neither.

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rek (9 years ago) Reply

It has continuity issues galore, thanks to only employing 4 people to be zombies and/or not having enough costumes: gas mask zombie and punk zombie appear twice from different directions and in different locations. The summary in the article has absolutely nothing to do with the short, so I wonder why anyone bothered to try cramming in an environmental message. What was with the dubbed grunting and cooing? It was really out of place. I also agree the relationship (lesbian or straight) really didn't need to be there: if you want to make a movie with a plot, you have to do better than that; if you want to just do a zombie fight piece, then do that. (I think the point of the lesbian scene was more about titillation than shock, for what it's worth.)

So is it pronounced ZED-5 or zed-3-dee-5?

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Bob Doto (9 years ago) Reply

Diligent Ape. The sexual orientation of the two women only comes across as "shocking" or "progressive" because media has typically relegated these relationships to so-called shocking and progressive genres. If same-sex relationships historically had any substantial place in media, you would see her relationship to her female lover as just that, a relationship like any other. Thankfully horror has been one of the few genres that has actually allowed for previously marginalized voices to be heard. That's part of what makes horror so offensive to many people. Not just the gore. People write what they know and relate to. I have homosexual characters in my writing, because, duh, homosexuals feature in my life quite prominantly. I don't see anything shocking or progressive about their blood or skin.

This whole idea that "the lesbian relationship didn't have to be there" is really strange. Only those uncomfortable with said relationships would even think of it as "out of place" etc. What a shame.

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Anonymous (9 years ago) Reply

@ Bob Doto :

You immediately label people as homophobes because they found a tacky, juvinile, softcore-porn sequence unnecessary to the film??

I personally found the scene completely uncessary and thought it reaked of school-boy 'LESBIANS ARE HOT!' attitude. Clearly inserted by the film maker because he wanted it, not because it gave the characters any more depth, nor because he was willing to make the characters realistic or their relationship meaningful.

Now if the sequence had been anything like the intimate scenes between Omar and his partners in The Wire, then I can understand its purpose in the film - those are character building sequences - the scene in Z3D5 was simply a sad attempt at tittilation.

Totally unecessary.

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Bob Doto (9 years ago) Reply

I didn't call anyone a homophobe. I said that the scene only appears forced because of how same-sex relationships are not normalized in society. And that if you had experienced them as normal you'd be less likely to assume that they are for shock value. I'm not saying the filmmaker didn't place the scene for shock value. For all I know s/he could be of a similar ilk. I'm saying that no one would have balked if there was a, what 3 second!!!, heterosexual kissing scene in the film. And there's a real reason for that. To pawn it off on some "narrative continuity" issue sounds a bit veiled to me. Why? Because it is.

That said, in my opinion the kissing scene only added to what little we know about the character. You don't need to earn a same-sex kissing scene that lasts 3 seconds. You can just put it in. Have it tell us a little something extra and be done with it.

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Bob Doto (9 years ago) Reply

And, never to be outdone, let me just seal this and wrap it up. The reason I called Diligent out a little was because of his criteria for determining whether or not a same-sex scene is "worthy" of its frames.

As most here have said, the film is not the most realized piece of art ever viewed. But what this film does have going for it is its use of tropes. That's the continuity. Everything in this film is telegraphed to the point of making it more of a remix of stock-shock than anything else. Not such a a bad thing in my opinion. But let's look:

1. The Mad Max main character's look? Stock.
2. The blood=splattered pretty-boy? Stock
3. The thinly veiled comment on consumer culture through the "zombie" tacky bars? Stock.
4. The hyper stylized sound effects? Very stock.
5. The use of only grunts? Stock.
6. The seemingly out-of-place hot girl kissing scene? Stock stock and more stock.

That's what this film is about for me. However, to pull out a lesbian scene as some unique point of unwarranted shock value in a horror-comedy ZOMBIE FILM!!! just seems a bit, well, you know, unwarranted.

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Diligent Ape (9 years ago) Reply

Yes, and that's what makes me think its unwarranted. Regardless if a hetero- or a homosexual relationship is portrayed, if it does not substantiate the plot, “feel” or, as Anonymous said, help built the characters, it is superfluous. It seems to me that a lesbian scene was chosen because the director felt a boy and girl kissing would be uninteresting, but the protagonist had to kill someone she loved, so he let it be a girl. I'm totally aware that I might be wrong. I'm just explaining what my sentiments are. We could probably discuss this to the end of time, but I'm glad we both agree that homosexual relationships (in themselves) are just as boring as heterosexual ones.

I think it's a bit besides the point to talk about how many homosexual friends we both have. And I hope you're not implying that I have at problem with homosexuality just because I have a problem with the ways these relationships are sometimes used to try and make love stories more “interesting” or “novel”. As said, this is just my impression and I can in no way back it up with empirical evidence.

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Cyberhal (9 years ago) Reply

I think you guys should kiss and make up lol

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quietearth (9 years ago) Reply

now that shit is better then the short!

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Chris (9 years ago) Reply

I hope this film played some festivals because it was really well done. Nice work!

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bad dog (9 years ago) Reply

LMAO Bob Doto, nicely done.

QuietEarth, hire this guy as a movie critic!

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rek (9 years ago) Reply

Bob - How is the lesbian relationship stock for zombie or post-apoc movies?

Even if it is, for the length of the piece and the context it's inserted into, it really came off as tacked-on to me. I'd have responded better to it if they'd just gone for the zombie/PA tropes, keeping it as short as it is, or done a bit more to establish back-story and pathos in a longer piece.

She didn't even kill her dead ex, the guy did, and she had no reaction to it.

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Bob Doto (9 years ago) Reply

Ok. I've made my case and it's air tight, but I'll entertain this for a sec. But then, you'll have to really present me with some new amazing argument to get me back into the conversation. I'm not in Sexuality and Film 101 anymore.

Horror (and especially dark horror comedy) is known almost entirely for being a genre that makes good use of shocking imagery. Imagery that nine time out of ten, you're like "Ew... was that necessary?!" If you're at all familiar with low-budget, so-called "B" grade films this becomes magnified exponentially. Gratuitous sex scenes (a booby here, a butt cheek there) are to low-budget horror films like white is to rice. For some filmmakers it's just one of the joys of making a horror film. (Of course there are others, but I'm talking specifically about the homemade-gore-horror scene). Sure the film is only 5 minutes, and yet regardless of its length all sorts of tropes are thrown in, almost as a nod to the genre at its most campy. A lesbian kiss (and that's what we're talking about here for goodness sake) is just a contemporary way of checking off that last remaining box. Clearly it worked. I've never seen so many young men up in arms about the "worthiness" of two girls making out on screen. You're acting like this film, minus the kiss, is some insanely amazing piece of narrative fiction, and the one little tiny thing that really derails the film is the girls kissing. Pleeeeze. You can't play me. The whole thing, right down to the lighting and lens is over-the-top and necessarily unnecessary.

But, for the unimaginative, here's some ways to read the film that might help you make sense of it all:

1. She's a lesbian. Ack! In our society, as much as we'd like to be like, "Hey. Whatever. Homo-and hetero- are just opposites. Why couldn't they just put a heterosexual scene in the film." It ain't like that. Let me know the next time your shot in the back of the head for being explicitly straight, like my wife's two friends were for being openly gay.

2. She's bi-sexual. A hot new take on an old theme. Have the best of both worlds. Makes her kind of progressive, no? Kinda like, maybe you could date her, and who knows what you two could get into.

3. She's sexually "experimental." Well that would certainly give her a little more depth as a character considering the ridiculously "I'm generation post-apocalypse" clothing she's wearing. Kinda fem-dom.

4. My personal fave: that dude at the end was her former lover who she dumped for the blonde girl. Now we're talking. Girl dumps guy for girl. Girl's girl dies and becomes a zombie. Girls previous boyfriend lies being eaten by zombies. Guy's ex does nothing about it (see how it's all coming together?) Guy reanimates and kills ex's girlfriend. Guy's ex kills him and faced with the complete absurdity of the entire situation simply shrugs it all of, because for God's sakes she's immersed in the zombie-frickin-apocalypse so why hold on to such banal emotions.

Good enough? Well, I tried. Onward!

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quietearth (9 years ago) Reply

@bad dog: Bob Doto is actually our NY correspondent. I know, he's good.

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rek (9 years ago) Reply

Lots of strawmen in there, Bob.

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bad dog (9 years ago) Reply

Final score:
Bob Doto - 9
People who feel icky about icky gay stuff: 0

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Diligent Ape (9 years ago) Reply

I don't think Bob's the one with the straw men. While I disagree with him on whether or not the romance part in Z3D5 is beneficial to the movie, I do acknowledge his point of view.

However, I find it a bit tiring that the discussion was turned into a matter of homophobia.

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bad dog (9 years ago) Reply

@ Diligent Ape: I understand Bob's point completely because I used to live in a gay-friendly city too (where he lives, in fact, NYC) and after a while you pretty much forget that gays are gays, you really just don't care after a while. You don't feel icky, you don't feel happy, you just don't care.

Which is his point. If we really weren't homophobia, the lesbianism wouldn't be seen as a gimmick or source of any discomfort at all. It would just be accepted as readily as a hetero couple would be accepted. Homophobia isn't only gay hating or bashing. It is also seeing the difference instead of simply accepting it without a care. So the fact the discussion is being had at all is proof of homophobia on somebody's part.

Funny, this is exactly why I told my wife I had no interest in seeing Brokeback Mountain. She was pointing out the gay relationship is powerful in the film, blah blah blah. My point was if it were a movie about a hetero couple, I wouldn't want to see it, so why would I want to see it if it has gays in it? Milk looks kind of interesting, I may see that when it comes on video, who knows.

Anyhow, all this is probably a tempest in a teapot, since obviously nobody intended any harm (nobody's better than anybody else here, and there are no good guys or bad guys in this conversation), but Bob's basically right. To truly not be phobic is to be blind to the difference and simply accept it.

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Diligent Ape (9 years ago) Reply

First of all, I've already said that I might be wrong that the lesbian romance was unwarranted.

Second of all, when I write "shocking" and "progressive", I do so in quotations because I think it is neither.

Thirdly, saying there's a difference between heterosexual and homosexual relationships is not homophobic unless you, on the basis of the difference, make a moral or hierarchical judgment on it. Just as saying there's a difference between men and women isn't the same as being sexist unless you conclude from it that one is better than the other or that certain roles naturally follow from the person's sex. I was commenting on the use of homosexual relationships and not their nature.

I do not think “blindness” will do anybody any good. However, I don't look at sexuality as binary. Some of my friends only fall in love with the opposite sex, some only with the same sex and some switch. This is also why, if it interests you, I wouldn't dream of talking about the nature of sexual relationships of any kind. But I do acknowledge that there are constructions called homosexual and heterosexual and that these are naturally portrayed in fiction, when they do so, I reserve the right to discuss these portrayals.

And finally, yes, this would be a “tempest in a teapot” if I didn't have problems accepting all the views that are attributed to me on the basis of my comment.

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Bob Doto (9 years ago) Reply

It's really great to see everyone's comments in here on this. I just want to clear something up, otherwise I'll stay out.

1. I was taking issue with a specific part of Diligent's comment, which we've already discussed and come to some basic agreement on as far as I can see. I was judging the act of judging worthiness, not whether Diligent is being homophobic. While I feel that judging the "worthiness" of a homosexual act in a film at the exclusion of judging a heterosexual act is alarming, I'm not willing to pass any sort of character judgment in here. At least not too big of a judgment ;)

2. I agree with Diligent in that "blindness" is not synonymous with acceptance and rarely with comfort. While I believe that the intrinsic nature of all forms of sexual relations are "equal in value" (weird way to put it, I know), I do not believe that you can or should assume that society as a whole considers them as such. What the hell do I mean by that?

I would argue that not seeing Brokeback Mountain on the basis of it "just being a love story and I wouldn't care if it was about a heterosexual relationship, so why would I care if it's about a homosexual relationship" is suspect. Not condemnable, just curious. Some people may honestly feel that way. But they are few and far between. For me, since not all sexual relationships are treated with equality in this society it is important (for me) to hear those voices that are marginalized, in, say, a movie such as Brokeback.

3. Once again, I agree that the kissing scene in the film was probably there for shock value, (and that is an interesting discussion) however my issue was with calling that out and not every other dripping ounce of film that was equally placed for shock value. That's it. I can see calling it out in the context of "sexual representations in film" but not as the basis of some argument that it messes with the film's continuity.

4. I also don’t believe in any sort of sexual binary. It’s a continuum, baby. Just see where you fall on it.


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