To be dead is to understand what it means to be truly alive, and to be alive is not to concern oneself with being dead. Funny how that works, innit? Well, Shatter Dead is a film that doesn’t fail to live up to its premise; in fact, it is a film in which the coexistence of the living and the dead is accentuated by bloody wounds as well as alienation from society, the latter of which is not something that is typically portrayed in SOV horror, nor is it something that many genre filmmakers tackle. Sure, the result is that of sheer angst; but sometimes the state of the world is not welcoming to its inhabitants. Sometimes it is a source of disdain that brings about a desire to be dead. With this in mind, the world of the undead is as much of a boulevard of broken dreams as it is a world in which hostility reigns.
There is a religious aspect to the film, which is interesting rather than abuse of power, there is a preacher character who is preoccupied with the end of the world and immortality. For such a low budget film, Shatter Dead has its share of high concept ideas, but what’s more, there are a few scenes which stand out due to the inclusion of the Angel of Death. Not only are these dreamlike, but they portray a separate plane of existence from that of the world of the undead; and so as death takes its toll, the activity which occurs in the graveyard is nothing short of visually stimulating.
I can’t help but think of the outlandish moments, such as sex involving a pistol and a group of trigger-happy characters who believe they are doing God’s work by killing everyone in sight. I’m not sure what to make of these, but I will say that they aren’t without illustrating the effects of the apocalypse, leaving no one unscathed. It’s truly dog eat dog.
I really enjoyed this and I consider it a standout as far as SOV horror goes, so give it a shot if broken walls, well-executed ideas, and mutilated corpses tickle your fancy. Chances are you won’t forget the experience anytime soon.
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