Feburary 19, 2010
Christine Egan as Dionne
H. Lynn Smith as Mother
Jim Townsend as Joe
Joe (Jim Townsend) is a struggling vineyard owner who can’t catch a break. Bad weather, dry soil and other hindrances, both explainable and unexplainable, prevent him from having a good grape harvest and realizing his dream of a good life in the country. His loving and supportive wife Dionne (Christine Egan) does her best to be supportive and encourage her husband, but it’s no use… Joe is ready to give it all up and takes solace in liquor, though he gave it up years ago.
Dionne, not one to whither away like a raisin on the vine, decides to take matters into her own hand and consults her mother (H. Lynn Smith), a witch from way back. Dionne too, complains mother, also has “the gift” and foolishly decided to turn her back on the old ways and go for the life of a vineyard owner’s wife – but that doesn’t stop her from helping her daughter cast a powerful spell to encourage the grapes to flourish and save the vineyard. Just a bit of blood from the now passed-out Joe and the spell is complete.
The next year the vines are lush, packed with grapes bursting with juice, and it appears that a happy ending is in store… but the vines seem to have a mind of their own and will stop at nothing to quench their unearthly thirst.
Everything about Attack of the Vegan Zombies is all wrong, right from the start. Just the concept of a vegan zombie is just stupid, and zombie aficionados wouldn’t be criticized for turning their back from the beginning… but wait. Believe it or not, Attack of the Vegan Zombies actually works, and manages to make the unlikely concept fit acceptably within both Wiccan sensibility AND zombie lore. Not only that, but the camp is acceptably applied so as to lead one to believe that this is an actual horror movie rather than a silly farce. Plus the digs on vegans were particularly satisfying, especially for an avowed meat-eater.
From a cinematic standpoint Attack of the Vegan Zombies is a pure success, mastering the elements of sound quality and cinematography that are often so elusive to those who create micro-budget Indie horror. The filming and sound are both gorgeous and add to the feel of a quality entry to the genre. The story is very strong and, actually somewhat believeable for the most part; the story element is often the strongpoint of the Indie horror scene, and Attack of the Vegan Zombies is no exception. This film was undoubtedly made with love and respect for horror.
The performances of the actors are generally very good, especially Christine Egan as the hesitant witch. Most of the other characters are over-acted caricatures of real human beings, but for some reason that is not bothersome in this case. Well, the nerdy guys who come to pick grapes are especially overdone to the point that it is annoyingly noticeable in some parts, but the guys managed to win the viewer’s hearts over time. Writer/Director Jim Townsend is a little flat in his performance, but again, not to the detriment of the film. The girl-on-girl action more than makes up for it.
I had decided before watching Attack of the Vegan Zombies that I was not going to like it. As a self-proclaimed “zombie guy” the whole concept was just too much to consider, but this film won me over soundly. Be prepared for some silly camp along with vines lurking around the grounds, but you can still settle in for a good time with this film. Of all of the Indie horror we watch here at BHM, this is one of those rare productions that I have shown again to friends. That’s saying something.