The Retaliation Trailer – The Bloody Revenge Movie Presents Ice Nine Kills!
Needless to say, George A. Romero night of the living dead is one of the most influential independent films of all time. The various strands of his web stretch far and wide into the world of cinema – not just horror. What might not be as well known though, is that Romero wasn’t the only bona fide filmmaker on the team who brought Night live.
One such individual is the “Zombie Graveyard” itself, bill hinzman. In addition to playing what is arguably the most important zombie in modern horror film history, Hinzman also served as a cameraman on night of the living dead and became his own regional filmmaker.
Wanting to revisit the zombie graveyard in some way, Bill Hinzman wrote, directed, edited and starred in flesh eater in 1988 – his sordid ode to Romero and night of the living dead.
just like Night, flesh eater was shot locally in rural Pennsylvania with friends, family and local talent. Regional horror is known for its flavor of authenticity despite working on tiny budgets, and flesh eater exudes that charm from scene to scene. There’s no story to speak of – a zombie once buried in some kind of satanic ritual (the movie only casually mentions satanic shenanigans once) is accidentally freed from his special coffin and proceeds to many and crunches any hot body in its path, creating an ever-growing horde of zombies in its wake.
There’s something about this Pennsylvania countryside that makes for a spooky backdrop for your low-budget zombie epic. The sky is still covered with a steel gray cloud cover and the hills seem to roll forever and ever; creating a real sense of isolation in the process.
Although the film’s acting talent is universal, to say the least, well, amateur, Bill Hinzman is able to imbue flesh eater with a chilling sense of dread, it sustains for 80 odd minutes of undead fun. What struck me when I first watched the film was how Hinzman managed to surprise me with the mean-spirited tone of the film. flesh eater starts out in a sense with a certain set of characters and you think you know exactly how it’s going to go from the first few minutes. But no, Hinzman is pulling the rug out from under you.
No one is safe. Once holder flesh eater of the title is gratuitous in the first few minutes, the film moves from bloody setting to bloody setting and never bothers to try to be anything other than a good time. There are no central characters. There are morals and lessons or themes. flesh eater is Bill Hinzman having fun and making a movie with his friends and family.
The special effects were made by Jerry Gergleywho has credits such as Babylon 5 and the remake of My dear love under his belt. I think it’s safe to say the real star of the film is the gore. We get a lot of icky bites, a zombie punching his arm in a stomach, ripped out organs, splatter zombie kills, and a few other odds and ends that I won’t spoil.
The gore isn’t as epically grotesque as, say, Romero’s The day of the Dead; but it won’t leave you wanting.
As mentioned above, flesh eater is indeed a low-budget regional indie horror film. Depending on people’s tastes and preferences, their mileage may vary when it comes to embracing what the film offers. flesh eater is done with great skill. Hinzman isn’t a hack, but the non-actor cast is a treasure trove of clunky dialogue and laughable performances. We are horror fans though; these things are often a feature, not a bug.
flesh eater is one of those humble little horror gems that makes you want to share it with all your friends so they can enjoy its local delights. It’s a perfect beer and pizza movie. There’s something refreshing about watching a horror movie as unassuming as this. He’s not trying to be smart. It’s not about being subversive. He doesn’t even try to say anything. It has only one goal: to be as entertaining as possible.
As a work of no-frills zombie entertainment and a tertiary piece of George A. Romero’s legacy, look for flesh eater. It’s a hoot. You can grab it on Vinegar Syndrome’s 4K!