All Nightmare Long (2008)
Hi all, Nate here. So, anyone who has been reading my stuff for a while now has hopefully figured out that the two things I hate most in all the universe are sharks and more sharks. The third and fourth things I hate the most are zombie movies and found footage movies. A close fifth is more sharks, and the sixth thing I hate the most in life are found footage zombies movies. Wait, is there even such a thing? Sadly, yes, thanks, Google. There might even be found footage zombie shark movies, but I'm not about to Google that. That said, I stumbled upon an amazingly good F.F.Z. movie this week I I just had to share it with you all. Because I care about you. How are you today? Are you eating enough? Would you like some pasta? Have you called your mother this week? She worries about you.
Presented as a trio of mixed-media video segments, All Nightmare Long tells the alternate history story of how the Soviets conquered the world with zombies in the 1940s. The combination of live action vignettes and quirky animated scenes doesn't seem like something that would mesh well, but here it does and that's a rare treat. I love anything alt-history and nearly anything olde timey Russian, so I'm probably biased, but this was my cup of tea.
I'm going screen cap-heavy on this one because the visuals are so great. I'm also going to present them completely without comment, just to try something different. You don't even need my ramblings anyway, the dialogue is mostly captioned (it's originally in Russian).
So, why is this so great? In a word, brevity. There's no origin story that takes up the first half, there's no mindless character introductions, there's no real characters at all, there's really nothing extraneous or padded in there to slow down the plot. I love that they give you little tiny bits of info and let your imagination fill in the blanks, I hate being spoon-fed exposition, especially when there's little need for exposition. You can follow along with the basic premise quite easily, and let your imagination worry about the details.
There's lots of little images and moments in there that are exceptional, from the USA-of-USSR flag to the misspelled Russian captions, from the fuzzy film grain of the 1972 section to the way everyone wears gasmasks in the animated middle part, there's a different little bits that race by.
It's easy to say that this would be great as a longer studio feature film with a larger budget, but they would almost surely mess it up. The zombies would be blood and gory, the scientists would all be young and handsome, there would be a love interest. There would also be a rock music soundtrack and jarring slam cuts every tenth of a second during the action scenes, and you just know some studio executive would change the Russians to Islamic Terrorists and hire Chris Pratt to play the wisecracking commando who saves the day. Better to just leave it alone, it's perfect the way it is.
Oh, and this is actually a 9 minute music video for a Metallica song of the same name, but that totally doesn't matter. It's better than nearly any feature-length movie with a hundred million dollar budget and Funko Pop toy tie-ins that you can think of, and was probably made in two weeks in a hallway of an LA office building. Seriously, do yourself a favor and find this on youtube and give it a watch, you are sure to agree that this is a found footage zombie movie you'd actually want to watch more than once.
Written in November 2016 by Nathan Decker.
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