by Donavin Sulser
Portrait of a Zombie”is a low-budget independent film written and directed by Bing Bailey in a documentary-style format. This horror/comedy chronicles the Murphy family, living in the suburbs of Ireland, whose son has turned into a zombie. This is not at all an uncommon plot within zombie films; loved ones often turn into rotting flesh-eaters, but the similarities end there. The Murphys decide to keep their son Billy, played by Patrick Murphy, locked up in his bedroom so he can still be a part of the family. The movie then follows a series of ridiculous situations leading to the inevitable in every zombie movie: everyone dies.
Portrait of a Zombie is in the tradition of Shaun of the Dead, with pockets of ’80s slashers horror injected throughout the film. The parents, Danny and Lizzy Murphy (played by Rory Mullen and Geraldine McAlinden) have some of the best comedic lines, making them believable as people trying to raise their undead child in his “condition.” Bailey’s satiric writing shines, and he explores two possibilities that have never been addressed in the 40 years of zombie film history. These graphic scenes are a must-see for any true undead aficionado.
Portrait of a Zombie is riddled with audio issues, sucking you back to reality. The constant use of echos like any U2 concert give audience the notion that something is fundamentally wrong. While some zombies look amazing in costume, others look worse than the original Romero films, when LSD made real zombies out of people. Given a little more care in the special effects and sound departments, this film would be a top-notch indie worthy of the zombie genre.
This film tries to pay homage to and put its own little twist on the genre, but the subtle production issues makes it look like a great home movie rather then something that should be put on the big screen. Portrait of a Zombie”would be a good Netflix late night flick if you’re bored.
This film gets 1.5 stars, as its saving grace was the acting by Rory Mullen and Geraldine McAlinden.