A fairly new and original take on the filmed-to-death zombie concept, Zombie Honeymoon is one of those rare stories that focuses on the characters, rather than the zombies themselves. In fact, Zombie Honeymoon could totally subtract the zombie factor and add in any other inconvenience (disease, mental illness, infidelity) that your spouse could come down with on a honeymoon, and you’d have an equally compelling and character driven movie.
Zombie Honeymoon’s director, Dave Gebroe, pays close attention to color, lighting, and detail, which instantly raises the bar of this indie-level flick. Though the production value is low, the way the cinematography and lighting are handled make for a more professional-looking and competent horror film.
How far would you go, to save someone you loved? How long before you would crack under the strain of your loved one changing into a different person right before your eyes?
These are the issues that Denise deals with when Danny begins manifesting strange zombie-like symptoms during their romantic honeymoon. Danny, mysteriously attacked by a madman on the beach, is legally dead for ten minutes when he arrives in the hospital. Overcome by grief, Denise cannot believe her eyes when he resurrects in front of her and the doctors. Determined to enjoy what they have left of their romantic getaway, and to erase the horrific attack from their minds, Denise and Danny seem happy as clams until Danny starts craving raw flesh and slowly rots away before Denise’s very eyes. Only after he kills and eats her friends, some random strangers, and a few police officers intent on stopping him, does Denise begin questioning her loyalty to Danny.
This is a film about love and commitment, with zombies thrown in to make the moral a bit easier to swallow. It’s about the realization that the person you marry may not be the person you thought. Does “Till Death Do You Part” matter if your loved one is dead?
Throw in some deliciously grotesque special effects, and a few overly melodramatic moments, and the result is this extremely sentimental and philosophical farce. Particularly unnerving are the sound effects that involve bone-crunching, intestine-slurping, and cartilage-gnawing noises coming from the shadows.
As Danny goes farther and farther into zombie hood, Denise finds herself unable to keep both her vows and her sanity, and she has to decide which one is more important to her.
By focusing most of the film on Denise and her psychological state, instead of just making this a standard joke-and-gore zombie indie, Gebroe adds an element of seriousness and interest to the film it would surely have been lacking otherwise.
Gebroe has an interesting way of presenting characters without the destructive and amateur forces of inner monologue or trite dialogue. Zombie Honeymoon unfolds with grace and style that smacks of talent and intelligence. However, the gore lovers and shock fans won’t be disappointed either. Using the scares to gnaw at your soul, Zombie Honeymoon defines itself as a horror film rather than a comedy or a drama. Though the subject matter keeps it in the traditional realm of horror, Gebroe makes a serious attempt at good filmmaking, and succeeds.