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Colin was a regular guy, up until the zombie apocalypse happened. The dude gets bitten and dies from his injuries sustained during a zombie attack in his home. The story doesn't end there, as Colin becomes reanimated and now must adjust to life as one of the walking dead.
In 1985, George Romero gave us the underrated DAY OF THE DEAD. In it, one of the more memorable characters is Bub, a zombie that learns again what it's like to be among the living. The dude was a sympathetic character, having a daddy (Richard Liberty as Dr. Logan), learning to shave, salute and shoot Captain Rhodes. We didn't see or hear anything about Bub after that, which is a shame. So, what's a guy like Marc Price to do but create his own zombie film that focuses on the zombie's point of view in COLIN? It's a no-brainer, really. COLIN not only has brains, but a heart, as well.
Okay, it's a given that the film has the unique concept going for it. Really, it's a wonder that no one's tackled something like this before. There have been films that have focused on the vampire's POV such as AKAI, but never any zombie films that I can think of (aside from WARM BODIES, but that's a couple years off). Once a zombie, Colin shambles his way through various survivor scenarios, including a squad of humans who have decided to 'save the world' and blow away any zombies they come across. Sure, stuff like this happens in all sorts of zombie films, but it's interesting when your perspective is from the zombies themselves, specifically Colin.
The other thing that I mentioned that the film had was heart. Case in point: Colin's sister Linda and her husband managed to 'rescue' Colin from the streets and take him home in order to try and 'save him'. Yeah, we all know how this works, but you can't help but be choked up from Daisy Aitkens' performance as the heartbroken Linda, showing the clearly hostile zombie some family snapshots, desperately trying to find that small piece of humanity that no longer exists in Colin. Shots of Colin clawing at a window as his sister and mother gaze tearfully at him from the other side are right up there with any emotional scene in any film that oh-so-effectively rips at the heartstrings. Who said horror couldn't have you in tears?
COLIN trips over itself in a few spots, being a byproduct of its own low budget origins. First off, clocking in at close to 100 minutes is ambitious for a film of this nature, and it shows. The pacing is just aggravating in spots, which could've been remedied by some tighter edits. Colin's transformation, for example, dragged on for far too long. Also, being the low budget affair that it is, be prepared for the infamous shaky cam to rear its vertigo-inducing head more often than not (especially in the indoor scenes), along with some suspect lighting issues. Yes, the film was (reportedly) shot for $75 US, which makes this all the more impressive, but I'm not about to scarf down Gravol each time I watch this film.
So, did COLIN do its thing? For the most part, yes. I totally dug the unique perspective and the emotional moments, but the pacing and suspect camera work took me out of it, at times. Had the film been tightened up in places and been given better camera work, the film would've stood out even more as your typical indie gem. That's not to say that the film is terrible, mind you. Character studies like this need to be given more props, and COLIN definitely deserves it. Put this on after an episode of The Walking Dead, and enjoy.
Video: Again, it's a low budget film that had a $75 price tag attached to it with some shaky cam and lighting problems. Still, this 1.33:1 fullscreen transfer gets the job done in adequate fashion. It sort of reminds me of 28 DAYS LATER, in that regards, which was never really meant to be a pristine high-def feature. Color issues are here, along with interlacing problems, but it's an indie shot, so what'd you expect?
Audio: Again, the Dolby Digital 5.1 track is much the same quality as the video. Dialogue is for the most part clear, with no distortion. This isn't going to blow you out of your chair, but it gets the job done.
Available in single-disc and two-disc editions, we received the single disc version for review. You can spring for the two-disc Special Edition here, if you want.
The single disc version comes with a commentary by director Marc Price, which is pretty entertaining and informative. In the commentary, Price admits some of his mistakes while shooting, as well as points out several references and explains how they got away with certain sequences. Price also devotes time to thanking all of his friends and family who let him and his crew get away with doing what they had to do in order to get the movie done, much like many indie affairs. It's certainly a good track, but would've been nice if the 2-disc version was sent our way.
COLIN is a unique take on the zombie genre that succeeds in putting the audience in a zombie's shoes. While some suspect editing and camera work leave things to be desired, seeing the world through the eyes of the undead and seeing the interaction with loved ones and their now-deceased family/friends makes for marvelous storytelling. Extras-wise, the commentary helps complement the film and provides some great addition information and entertainment.