Coming to DVD/VOD
Nov 3, 2023
Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken‘s Prosjekt Z is a rather strange hybrid that doesn’t quite know what kind of movie it wants to be. When it’s hitting select theatres after All Hallow’s Eve, just who will be anxious to see this must be for folks craving anything postmortem. Here, the story is about a group of students out to make a zombie film out in the woods. But there’s much more going on, since we also get something akin to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes going on later on.
If that’s not this work’s premise, then the Rocky Horror moments even get curiouser and curiouser–minus the music. That is, there’s a couple who’s out in the woods and after having a bit of a spat, find themselves in front of a lone mansion. They’re just characters to a story within a story where afterwards, a meteorite comes zooming through and crashes! Its radiation is turning the locals into the walking dead.
On top of that story is another one, concerning this movie’s director, Julie (Eili Harboe) thinking her work is going to be loved by all. When making a horror film, that’s a rather lofty goal. There are moments where the narrative shifts from one story to another, and that can get confusing. Thankfully, it’s easy to identify what is happening when shifting perspectives. There are bits of video blogging going on and actual camera work.
Also, the characters aren’t necessarily lying about their desire to work with famous directors like Spike Lee or show their love for Quentin Tarantino’s films. One running gag includes a bunch of talk about how famous star Dennis Storhøi will be appearing in this flick, and he’ll be playing a transsexual zombie (hence the Rocky Horror reference). By the time he appears, he’s more lost in the spotlight because he appeared in The 13th Warrior. However, all these Easter eggs won’t necessarily save a film that felt too long.
Had it been more focussed on the danger at hand, namely the coming of the next zombie pandemic, I’d be paying attention. In my preview, I simply wanted to fast-forward to get to the juicy bits, and for a micro budget film about the movie-making process, it actually delivered. As for being a horror movie, it still needs fine-tuning.
3 Stars out of 5