There are low budget films, and then there is Automaton Transfusion (2006). Although billed as one of the "best" zombie flicks in ages, in actuality it provides little in the way of entertainment.

The first thing the audience will notice about the movie is the poor production value. The film itself is choppy, more often resembling a video you would watch on YouTube instead of a published DVD. The sound is very poor in some places, and the jerky movements of the camera often make it difficult to figure out what exactly is happening on-screen.

The actual storyline (what little there is of it) is filled with cliches. Typical drunk, drug-using, and shagging teenagers suddenly find themselves overrun by zombies. The zombies are of the "running" kind, and the make-up effects are rather shoddy. The film does provide the audience with a couple of unique "ick" scenes of various expendable characters being eaten and maimed, but the marginal acting and stilted dialogue do nothing to move the story along.

There are actual moments of idiocy in the film - plotholes so large one can pilot a supertanker through them. For example, does it make sense that zombies who are supposed to be slightly more intelligent than a potato don't know enough to break windows to get at the fresh meat? In another scene, our "heroes" rush into a house and struggle to shut the door against the gibbering hordes of flesh-eating undead outside. Much to their dismay, they discover a lone zombie in the house with them! So naturally, they turn and run out the door they just struggled to shut only seconds previously. And lo, a miracle must have occurred (no other way to explain it) because there was nary a zombie outside.

No mention is made of where the zombies came from (you know, the plot?) until a good 45 minutes or so into the film. When the plot is finally mentioned, it turns into yet another cliche. Apparently the entire town is some sort of laboratory for the military (of course). These evil military agents were testing some new bio-process, hoping to replace actual soldiers with these pathetic zombies instead.

Finally, the plot has been introduced, and the hero and heroine (wouldn't expect anyone else) find themselves not only having to run from the zombies, but also having to run from the military guys. The director makes sure the audience can tell the difference (he has to since the make-up is so bad) between the two by dressing the military guys in something that looks like a cross between flight gear and a hazmat suit.

Suspense builds (doubtful), adrenaline flows (not really), and we come to the climax of the movie. The hero and his girl are trapped! Zombies are trying to eat them on one side; the military guys are trying to catch them for evil experiments on the other. How will they escape? Will some act of heroism save them? Or are they destined to fall? The final scene appears on the screen, and it says... be continued. I sincerely hope not.

Category: Movie Review