What if we had zombies that were more like Olympic sprint runners than lumbering idiots, some unique editing and bizarre frame rates, or a horror movie with a unique twist that was made in only 9 days? Luckily, we have Automaton Transfusion to answer all these questions.
Fresh out of film school the director took his own film trailer school project and expanded it into a full feature length film. Shot in only 9 days for pennies on the dollar, the result is Automaton Transfusion. We must look at this film in perspective. We cannot compare this film to the huge budget Wes Craven or John Carpenter films, instead we must compare this to the lower budget first films of directors such as Sam Raimi. Is this as entertaining as The Evil Dead? No. Is it a failure? Not by a long shot.
The military is using a small town in an experiment to create the next super soldier. They have a plan to reanimate the dead with speed, organization, and the ability to think. What could possibly go wrong? The zombie super soldier project quickly spreads through town wiping out, and converting everyone in its path.
With only 9 days to shoot and nothing but friends as cast the result is truly amazing. Any reviewer of this film that chooses to pick at the admittedly choppy editing or bad acting should first have to recreate it under the same circumstances. Anyone with an understanding of the film industry can, and should, see this film as a solid first step much like The Evil Dead or Clerks before it.
The acting is flat. The editing is horrible. I personally feel the speed changes and speedy cuts were the director’s way to make a camcorder film feel bigger and more expensive. The creative team had the right idea, but not enough experience to make it work.
The story idea, however, is fresh and inspired. I love the really fast zombies and the tension and suspense built into the simplest of scenes. That said, the characters are sometimes really stupid. For example, a girl locks herself in the bathroom as an entire house party gets slaughtered, in great gore, by zombies. It then takes her 15 minutes or so to even try to escape using the large window. It reminded me of the 5lb bookcase that kept Bruce Campbell pinned down in The Evil Dead. This is an inspired first project and the planned sequel will hopefully make us all forget the errors made here.
As with many first time horror directors, there is an emphasis on over the top gore and gallons of cheap and easy to make blood. There are some new twists and attacks here, though, that are not for the squeamish and probably belong more in a Troma film. Consider yourself warned. As an example, there is a forced edible abortion scene.
Fans of low budget zombie films should rent this. People willing to accept the flaws of first films might want to buy this as I did. Anyone who only likes their films to have a shooting budget over 100 million with stars and a shiny finish probably shouldn’t be reading my views on film and definitely shouldn’t watch this one.