From Super Zero, to Mildly Moderate Hero, There is a Zombie Assassin in All of Us…
[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]n a genre so tired and drawn out by now, Hollywood has shown they will go to the greatest of lengths to beat the corpse of an undead horse just to squeeze any amount of profit out of it. I often wonder to myself how do we as fans get back to loving undead films that found a special place in our hearts? An entire genre gone just as quickly as the weekend box office results?
The answer could surprise you. To put it simply; fans need to bring it back with their own vision.
Hollywood has a very simple formula for most films, and among them is a synopsis of post-apocalyptic zombie films that sound as though they created characters based off of random traits pulled from the largest hat in the room. Good looking protagonist finds himself surprised to be in an apocalypse, a few side characters die, mostly the sexually promiscuous and the arrogant, perhaps even someone you adore. But in most cases, the protagonist is a total badass and his love interest stays sexy and attractive with an endless supply of designer makeup on-hand. Sound familiar? Well, the good news is that Super Zero is not that film, it merely shares similar plot points to make the story move along.
29 Days Later… We caught that reference, Mitch.
What I like about the 15m50s zombie short written and directed by Mitch Cohen, is that it takes what we love about the genre, and focuses on a rather dull, insecure, albeit pathetically sad character. Why do I like this? To be honest, it is because it is more refreshing to see a character so weak, be built up as the center focus for an otherwise tragic and catastrophic event, leading to the character finding himself and being a hero you can root for. Unlike most undead films where most of the heroes are clearly a badass found in the eyes of audience, even sooner than the character himself.
Certainly a loner, definitely a loser, but absolutely handy in the garage with a blowtorch and welding tools.
The moment we are introduced to the sad, petty character Josh Hershberg, we feel sorry for him. We do not envy this character, and we certainly would not want him on our side during the zombie infection. And that is what makes this different.
Think of how many films in the zombie genre that have a protagonist that you pity. I can think of only two; Shaun of the Dead, and Zombieland, and the former is one of my favorite movies of all time. The point is, so many films these days, regardless of plot synopsis or genre, lack proper character development, and while Super Zero is super short, the zero in the film becomes a hero at the end. Now, if Cohen and crew are able to make this into the web series they are planning on doing, then likely we will see the expanded universe these events take place in.
I can say honestly that the zombie outbreaks, infections, apocalypses, epidemics, and theme as a whole is certainly growing tired… but there is one thing I will never get tired of, and that is a fans vision of pulling together a well-cast, intriguingly developed plot to deliver a version of something done countless times before, and still manages to grip my attention. And if Super Zero manages to make its way into a series, it certainly has the potential of doing the same for the hundreds of thousands of zombie fans such as myself.
Written and directed by Mitch Cohen, Super Zero: Badass Journey into Zombie Awesomeness stars Umberto Celisano, Giselle Gilbert, Al Bernstein, and Tyler White.