Now here's a refreshing scenario, young upcoming filmmaker Julian Lara has made his very own low budget foray into the ever popular zombie genre scene, but rather than spending forever frustratingly traipsing his wares round all the producers and distributors he's taken the very enterprising route of putting together his own special edition DVD. So it is with commendable anticipation that we kick back with the short film shocker that is 'Evil Night'.
So what's the deal with 'Evil Night'? Well, zombie fans can rest easy as this is nothing more than twenty minutes of no budget plotless zombie fun! I say plotless but we do get a scene setting scenario of two young couples heading out into the woods for a night of camping, drinking and general teen shenanigans. But before the youngsters have any hope of forming any sort of character development a legion of the undead arrive and swiftly tear them to shreds for our gore loving delectation for the remainder (which in act is the bulk) of the movie. This is indeed what we want…zombies, gore and not much more! Director Lara is obviously himself a big fan of the genre and this exercise in no budget mayhem no doubt served as sating his need to tip his hat to the genre but at the same time will no doubt gratify us like minded zombie loving brethren. Be warned though, this is indeed a virtually budgetless production and those without the patience or forgiving nature of films such as this need not enter, but if you're happy (like myself) to check out what new upcoming filmmakers are up to then this is an excellent calling card by the young Spanish filmmaker. No point in making mention of anyones acting skills as they have little opportunity to flex them but needless to say the four lead victims do their job fine but it is the zombies that steal the show with not only some very impressive zombie make ups but there's also plenty of blood spraying about the place and some very meaty flesh eating gore to keep splatter fans happy (and there's even a few well timed visceral chuckles in there also). 20 minutes of bloody fun and the perfect late night mindless beer swilling viewing, but what about this 'special edition' DVD? What has this got to offer?
Well it must be pointed out that even before the film begins you have the option of checking out a somewhat amusing intro by (would you believe it) Troma's very own Uncie Lloyd Kaufman (the man gets everywhere!) The film itself looks faultless, which you would expect considering that it is a relatively new production, and comes with (for what they're worth) English subtitles. It should also be pointed out that this is the 'uncut international version' but the disc also includes the extended Spanish version which runs almost twice as long (at 38 minutes) adding a mass of story and dialogue that was shorn for the gory short version, admittedly it would have been nice to have the option of watching this longer cut with English subtitles also so we can actually enjoy the luckless leads performances.
Also included on the disc is a highly amusing trailer for Lara's forthcoming low budget zombie epic 'Deadhunter' which sees the zombie action move into the bright lights of his home town of Sevilla, this teaser trailer shows a gun toting priest and his sidekick take on a renegade zombie in a local video shop. Let's hope Lara gets the money together to complete this one, I for one will be looking forward to viewing it when completed. Wrapping things up on the disc are a massive selection of deleted scenes and out-take footage as well as some home video shot at the films local premiere.
So in summing up, as a calling card to the genre scene Julian Lara should be proud of what he's delivered. 'Evil Night' (in both its variations) is a cracking slice of low budget horror fun and is worthy of both your support and attention. Let's hope we'll be seeing more from Lara's work soon - check out 'Evil Night' now.
Review by Alan Simpson
Find out more about 'Evil Night' and the work of Julian Lara by clicking here.
|Directed by Julian Lara|
|Region All - PAL|
|Intro by Lloyd Kaufman, 'Deadhunter' trailer, deleted scenes, out-takes, premiere footage.|