November 6, 2010

ZombieWestern: It Came From The West (Review)

ZombieWestern: It
Came from the West (2007)

Director:  Tor Fruergaard

3 / 5 zedheads

Naturally, I'd be excited for any zombie western. Even though ZombieWestern: It Came from the West is a short Danish-language film, I was guaranteed to watch it eventually because it sells itself as the first ever puppet zombie western. Great, right? After 17 minutes of puppet violence and gore, I can appreciate the appeal of the short. In the end, however, I really did not enjoy it much.

The human puppets were too ugly and awkward to enjoy

I love puppets. I grew up in the age of Jim Henson, but my taste in puppetry is diverse and extends beyond Muppets. The human puppets in ZombieWestern, however, are grotesque little caricatures with bulging eyes, rough and exaggerated features, and realistic human teeth shoved in their unrealistic mouths. As zombies, they look appropriately disgusting, don't get me wrong. As human characters that we need to identify with, they look like mutants. There is something about the use of realistic teeth protruding from unrealistic bodies that turned me off from this short film. In part, their faces are not very expressive and their hands are not very dexterous. They wobble around and look disturbing. Again, this works great for the zombie puppets. I just really didn't want to watch these human puppets at all.

A thing of nightmares
The miniature sets, the gore, the violence against zombie puppets, and the design of the zombies are all interesting. At the same time, there's very little motivation / interesting story in this 17 minute short. I just couldn't buy into the short based on the design of the non-zombie puppets.