The bible of monster movie magazines just reviewed us. 3 out of 4 skulls! Awesome. Below please find the review by Michael Koopmans
THE DEFILED is art-house zombie flick shot in digital black & white (kind of sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?). This quasi-silent film is straightforward, human and, for the most part, effective—honestly!
Set in a postapocalyptic world where a virus has turned the majority of Earth’s survivors into the living dead, both the uninfected and infected are left with a “kill or be killed” mentality. Brian Shaw plays the lead zombie whose family is killed by eating a corpse that was exposed to radiation. After delivering the baby from the corpse of his pregnant daughter, he inadvertently saves an uninfected, traumatized woman (Kathleen Lawlor) from a pack of fellow flesheaters. Now it’s monsters as humans against humans as monster, and will paternal instincts overcome infestation and hatred for one couple stuck in a world of chaos?
Aside from the primordial grunting of the zombies and some scenery noise, there is no dialogue in THE DEFILED. It’s a bold choice by director Julian Grant, leaving the plot’s progression to the physical emotion expressed by the two leads, more so the female who isn’t playing up the skin-peeling-cannibal-madman angle. And to their credit, they pull it off.
For such an ultra-low-budget feature, Grant keeps it stylish and fresh by adding a cold blue tint over the digital B&W. This also helps to transform some of the crude FX into something far creepier than it would have been in color. It’s a great example of how to use low-rent modern technology to produce a heartfelt, well-executed film, which is reminiscent of the dawn of horror on film.
One of the few gripes is with THE DEFILED’s 100-minute running time. Not so much on a personal level, because I’m a sucker for any excruciatingly slow-paced film, but I can see this one putting many viewers asleep who are more keen on the constant explosions and instant gratification that a lot of modern cinema boasts. In addition, toward the end of the film, a few scenarios start to get a little confusing while others feels too familiar. This would have made an excellent short film, since stretching it to feature length has caused it to become a bit diluted and harder to handle.
This DVD features an entertaining commentary track by the two leads and the director, which gives insight into the film’s culmination while going over the trials and tribulations that come with producing a low-budget film. Other features include a photo gallery and a few trailers. So if you’re in the mood for a painfully slow-paced love letter to the horror films of yesteryear, check out THE DEFILED. I look forward to Grant’s next effort.