I currently fall into the "I am so tired of zombies I could puke" bucket. I haven't stopped watching zombie movies so much as I've started avoiding them at all costs, literally watching every other subgenre offering I stumble onto, regardless of how terrible it is.
I seriously re-watched Wishmaster this past week. That's how far out of my way I've been going to avoid the significant number of zombie movies flooding Netflix.
Then I accidentally watched one.
In a strange twist of events, the movie cover actually helped persuade me to watch it. I know you typically read my complaints about movie covers and how the bad art made me skip a movie multiple times, so this was a nice change.
I think I harp on movie art so often because I love great horror art and I believe that strong design speaks well of your product. I find it disappointing when people scrimp on their cover art - it's a missed opportunity to generate more interest in their movie, create more merchandising opportunities, and to foster respect for their craftsmanship.
Thus ends my business rant and begins my content write up.
Aside from some sub-par acting, Contracted offers amazing, Cronenberg level body horror within an interesting story that just happens to turn into a zombie movie - without anyone ever saying the word "zombie".
The gist of the movie goes something like this: young, beautiful lesbian is date raped by a man whose face you never see and catches "something" from him. Her sordid past comes back to haunt her as the "something" rapidly turns her into a zombie and no one wants to help her.
There is unmistakeable subtext kicking around in this movie: Rape victims often encounter disbelief about their attack, especially if they are "slutty". Unprotected sex with strangers could kill you. Drinking and using drugs could lead you into trouble. So on and so forth, as is appropriate for the history of the horror genre.
Never seeing the rapist's face is an interesting plot device.
You never see his face but you do see him more than once in the movie. None of those times does he seem to be turning into a zombie. This is immensely powerful in that it builds fear around not knowing if or when he'll attack again, but it is also a misdirection. You don't easily put together the pieces that what he's given to her is "zombification" as he remains unaffected.
For me, more importantly, the effects were great and some were disturbingly creative. I've rarely seen such a fantastic use of maggots in a movie before. We'll let the fact that they were actually meal worms slide.
Wrap up time.
If you're sick and tired of zombie movies, but you love gross-out horror, give Contracted a try.
You can watch the trailer here: