Tuesday, July 19

A new force to be reckoned with...

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Jim Mickle and Nick Damici's Mulberry Street has several factors working against it. An unappealing title. Video marketing both domestic and abroad that indicates yet another low budget zombie romp. A non-existent budget of around a measly sixty grand. A really shitty trailer that doesn't represent the style of the film at all. Finally, being part of Lionsgate's 8 Films to Die For series, which getting down to brass tax, consists mostly of horror that couldn't quite cut the mustard as standalones. To be honest, I had zero interest in ever seeing this and only bought the DVD after finding it for two bucks over the weekend.

But like I should have done, disregard all those negative waves, man. This is one of the best independent no-budget American horror films I've seen in quite some time. Amazingly, I have no gripes or quibbles about any aspect of this yarn of a rat-born infection turning residents of one of the most famous streets in Manhattan into rampaging mutant members of the very species scampering underfoot.

There's a genuine feeling running through Mulberry Street of director/writer Mickle and writer/lead Damici wanting to get even the smallest of details right. This is so welcoming because it bucks one of the most annoying trends in indie horror. Of course, time and money are always tight, but too often tiny details are let go leaving an impression filmmakers just settling for good enough. Such examples can be seen over-and-over in the three million dollar Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet which I grilled a few weeks ago. A lazy piece of garbage next to this piece with a fraction of the budget. Rammbock: Berlin Undead also doesn't have Mulberry's chops.       

In contrast, Mickle and Damici aren't afraid to get their hands dirty and this only bolsters excellent lived-in performances and streetwise directorial style seldom seen in the genre. There's real craftsmanship in Mulberry Street and it's far more than to be expected from something about crazed rat people for the cost of a nice new car. Track this down now, it's definitely worth owning, and I can't wait to see Stake Land. There might still be hope for American Horror...

3 comments:

Mister Bones said...

I loved this one too, definitely the diamond in the rough that is the typical Horrorfest fare.

Drunketh said...

Rue Morgue was pimping this one out a couple years ago... I've wanted to see it, just never got the chance.

Deranged said...

A decent little flick - lumbered over here in the UK with the rather unweildly title of Zombie Virus on Mulberry Street!

...do you dare tread upon the staircase?
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