I’m a short film junkie. I’ll watch anything you give me. It’s one of the reasons I continue to judge the Killer Film Festival each year. I love to what filmmakers are putting out, on a budget, with their own money, on a small scale. Why? Because they’re trying to prove themselves. I’m sure we get our share of big filmmakers getting back to their roots and making a short or two occasionally, but for the most part this format is festival fodder or the building blocks of an anthology. If you want to earn the write to make a big movie, start with a short movie and cut your teeth. In all of the shorts I get to watch about 10% are pretty damn good. Good enough for a feature length movie that will rival what studios, indie or not, are putting out. One such effort is Velvet Road, and yes it’s a zombie movie.
Velvet Road takes place in a time when segregation in the south plagues the souls of men. The color of a man’s skin becomes a symbol for the dead. Hatred is passed through men like a disease. Little is known about what is causing the infection. Ignorance fuels the misconceptions and bigotry.
A truck races down the road of a small backwoods town. Bobby squeezes the wheel as he tries to save the infected mother of his child. Little does he know, that their fate will fall into his hands.
Of the short films I get to peruse each year you’d be surprised at the percentage of them that feature zombies. It seems to be an easy genre to tackle. Throw your friends in gobs of latex and fake blood and have them attack your other friends. The challenge is to create something novel, something original. I’m not saying that I sit down to watch rehashes of Dawn of the Dead every year… I’m actually usually watching rehashes of newer, successful movies like Shawn of the Dead or Fido. Let me put to rest your fears that Velvet Road is one of the rehashes. It is not. It is an intelligent short film that uses zombies to convey very human, living emotions by putting characters you can care about in zombie way. Velvet Road focuses on the transformation of human to zombie, the emotional toll that will take on the living and ultimately the living tragedy that an apocalypse can leave behind. Further it’s about the other mind destroying disease currently more prevalent then any zombie outbreak at the moment, racism.
Directed and Co-Written by L. Gustavo Cooper and Co-Written by Alandria Lewis, Velvet Road is a zombie movie for the layman. It’s a movie that could easily happen to anyone of us, and I find it especially heartbreaking for those of us who are close to our families. It doesn’t take long for Cooper’s movie to reach a fever pitch of anxiety mostly due to some pretty fancy editing and cutaways that leave the viewer guessing.
Velvet Road will be featured at a number of fairly prominent film festivals this year, so keep your peepers open and make sure you follow them on the social network. Make sure to give it a like on FaceBook HERE. You can see if they win any accolades along the way. Rest assured this will make a nice feature length film someday especially for fans of the Walking Dead and modern, character driven undead films. See the recent write up in Fangoria too and let the editor’s there know that your interested in catching this one. Couldn’t hurt, right?
Here’s where you might catch up with Velvet Road:
PollyGrind Underground Film Festival of Las Vegas
Miami Short Film Festival
Atlanta Horror Film Festival
Mile High Horror Film Festival
Williamsburg International Film Festival
New York International Film Festival
Spooky Movie – The Washington, D.C. International Horror Festival
The Chicago Horror Film Festival
FREAK SHOW Horror Film Festival
Sacramento Horror Film Festival
Terror Film Festival
If this isn’t enough to peak your interest, the production company’s name is Fat Screaming Baby Productions. What an image.