The Collective is back with their fifth installment. Just in case, you are new to wickedchannel.com or The Collective, let me tell you about this group. Jason Hoover and Jabb Pictures have seem to have created this series that focuses on one topic in ten short films and calls it a Collective. Thru the dvds so far, they have covered topics so varied as meat eaters, emotions, a box, and even changed the playing field and let the females do an all-female collective. So far the results are far more positive than negative, which leads us to the latest and this time the topic that runs throughout these ten shorts is zombies. Now before we tackle this let me say right now, if you have yet to see any of The Collectives, you are truly missing out and Jabb Pictures sell them on the cheap, so they are looking out for you fans.
I want to change something this time around; I want to go from best story to least favorite. So letâ€™s see how the undead faired with taking over on wickedchannel.com shall we.
1. Consumption of the Heart-Right from the start I should admit, at first I had no hope for this one. The beginning is about a young woman who dresses sexually to get her man to notice her. What starts off as some unloved woman trying to feel loved, turns out to be some sick stuff. This takes the theory of zombie and does something truly unique, it makes it almost sexy. When they are in bed and doing the deal, are when the film gets in the bizarre zone, she is bruised and seems to bleed out of any opening on her person. Then, as the short goes this turns to a story of doomed lovers who really try to make the gore erotic. Make no mistake it is The Collective so nothing is easy, they end this short with a conclusion to draw, mine was how far you would go for love, well maybe lust. The scene where he goes down on her and she is full of blood and he comes up for air with blood all over his face was really my feelings about this whole short, what a bloody good time.
2. a(gore)aphobic-I have been Cameron Scottâ€™s hardest critic, but this time Cam delivered and did it in more ways than one. I know I am biased on this one, because there is a close up shot in this short that has my name and this website in clear view. But, that aside this is the story of a young woman who is trapped in her apartment for days by a zombie outbreak. Of all the shorts on this, this was the one that really felt like an indie zombie film that zombie fans could call the norm. She spends the majority of the short in her place trying to figure out a way to escape, and really was fun.
3. Voice Over-Noah gets bit by a zombie going outside, and instead of instantly changing into a zombie he thinks he is normal and has a voice telling him to go feed and eat. He is not sure at first where this voice is at, but it becomes clear that this is his subconscious talking to him. Anything with Josh Hull listed is going to be fun, and this was no different. This was a fun little comedy that in the end was so dark and demented that you could not resist its charm. The only problem with this one was that it was not 20 minutes longer. I did not want this story to end, and wanted more. This is not the typical zombie film, but with Hull is anything the typical? That is why the man is awesome, he makes magic out of the simplest things. This would be a good short for a good laugh.
4. Merauders-This was so weird that I had to like it. Jabb Pictures either hit the mark or miss it completely when it comes to their contribution to these collections. This has a masked man who is driving a truck with two rowdy guys in back. Now, I get that we fear a zombie apocalypse, but this short shows that maybe the zombies are not so bad compared to the downfall of man, and what he will do when he knows there are no more laws and order. They see a sign in the road saying help us with an arrow, and of course they go and they see a woman and some young people, and of course they wreak havoc. The film focused on the masked man who we have no idea what is going thru his mind, until the last shot. All in all, this is Jason Hoover in a nutshell, very intelligent yet seems to try and push the envelope and get the viewers to see his vision.
5.se(xx)_z(zombie)-This is why I love indie filmmaking so much. Set to a piano score, this is a black and white short that is a take on the golden age of film. This is a silent film with the cue cards with the words they are saying in the film. This felt like a sexual zombie our gang short. This was super creative that I cannot brag enough about, this was really different from what I was expecting off this set and I dug it. I noticed in past editions of this series, Hoover shied away from the nudity and sexual stuff, but in the last two or three now he has embraced it and actually it added another flavor to this series. These women have the zombies all calm, and they use them for their needs and also use each other as well. I think that description ha ha that will sell some copies.
6. Spooky Stuff-The Zombie Stuff-Any fans of the Collective had to know that eventually they would cave in and do the found footage reality show short. This is about a guy and a girl who goes to this place and that place trying to find zombies. Now, I like when a short can give me a punch when I least expect it. This one had a little bite towards the end that really made it tolerable but if it was not for that final 2 minutes, I would not have been so high on this short.
7. Zombie Soup-James Mannan interviews the people on this Collective as well as others on a series of zombie topics. This one has its moments that were fun, but in the end it started to drag just a bit. I have no issue with variety, but I just felt this was not the best it could have been. This would have been a better extra on the special features then the actual short; I would have appreciated it more. Though, to hear Cam and Hoover share stories was fun as were a few others, but there are a few on here that were not so fun to listen to and had the excitement and personality of an abortion.
8.They said they were here to help-This is told in voice over where the guy starts off wounded and looks pretty bad off, and he tells us the story of how he ended up here so hopeless. I liked the creativity behind it but it just seemed to get so bogged down by this heavy story that the character came thru as flat and boring. This tried so hard to cram so much in its little time frame, I wish they would have gave us less to digest and built that up more, instead of just hitting us so hard with this story that is clearly not material for a short, but needs time to let it breathe and build it more. If this film was an hour long, it would have flowed better and meant so much more. As this short stands, it was such a wasted opportunity.
9 and 10.The Dead Things Outside your Door-I noticed in the last Collective, they started to do the two part shorts, where one short is spread out. Last time out, was a short that really was amazing, this time mm…not so much. This seemed very inspired by the film Feast where each character has to have the little description under their face. June 13th was the worst day in the history of the planet, everything that could go wrong did. We had tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and a zombie outbreak at the same time. So, the few who lived are now bait for the undead. This focuses on a woman whose ex seeks her out to see that zombies are the least of their worries as she is holed up with some psychos. This was pretty lame and utterly a bore. I wanted so much to like this film, but I will say right now, it should have been so much more with the time frame it was given. I will not keep on attacking this film; I think it is clear how bad this is.
All in all, Emotions was a hard follow up and while this has more pluses then minuses, I just feel this was rushed and that some of these shorts are not Collective worthy. A Collective collection is not supposed to have films you call wasted opportunities or being compared to having an abortion. This is the fucking Collective; it is supposed to be cutting edge and pushes us into new directions in film. This sucks to really be hard on this series but I just know to have 5 really good ones and 2 maybes and have 3 horrible ones is not what they pride themselves on.
7 out of 10