Zombie Honeymoon [Celluloid Hero]
Zombie Honeymoon (2004)
Zombies movies can be tough. If it's just an hour and a half of nonstop zombie hordes eating people then being decapitated, it feels too much like a video game. If the gore slows and instead focuses on the characters, people complain that there is not enough action. "Zombie Honeymoon" has an interesting take, trying to put a new spin on some classic zombie elements, but falls short in just about every category.
Danny and Denise are newlyweds, and honeymooning on the Jersey Shore in Spring Lake. On the first day, they're spending time on the beach when a strange man wanders out of the ocean, attacks Danny, and vomits blood and bile all over him. Danny is rushed to the hospital, pronounced dead, then comes back to life.
Danny's behavior gets weird, blood is spilled, people are eaten. Denise is sure she can cure Danny, and somehow the solution involves fulfilling their goal of starting life over in Portugal. Clearly the best plan of action for someone craving humans is to be stuck on an airplane for seven hours. An attack on a travel agent who looks like a "Mob Wives" reject is the turn that shows Denise she may not be able to help Danny.
The zombification of Danny is a slow burn. Rather than turning into a mindless brain-eater, he slowly develops the hunger for flesh and blood, while still maintaining his human rationality. He knows what he's doing is wrong, but can't resist doing it. This concept is actually the high point of the movie. The fact that Denise is trying to help him, trying to save their marriage, trying to still love him makes things somewhat interesting.
Despite the zombie-love ideas, nothing else really works. The actress playing Denise, Tracy Coogan, has a bad habit of letting her accent slip back to her native Irish. David M. Wallace, who plays the couples' friend Buddy, also wanders through a few accents, often landing somewhere in the vicinity of Australian. Graham Sibley makes the most in his role of Danny, but the script didn't give him a whole lot to work with. I understand this was an indie flick, very low-budget, but even simple things like camerawork, lighting, and sound were subpar.
My wife thinks I have an irrational fear of zombies, which I rebut by saying it is a completely rational fear. After watching this, I asked her if she would still love me if I turned into a zombie. She said "no, I would shoot you in the head", which is exactly what I have asked her to do on numerous occasions. I wanted to include it in our wedding vows, but she vetoed that. "Zombie Honeymoon" tried to make a zombie movie with heart, but the try fell short.