Photobucket“Victoria’s Deadly Secret”

_ Red Victoria _ Title: Red Victoria

So what images come to mind when you think “Zombie flick”? If you are like me you picture a mass of humanity roving aimlessly with vacant stares and slow, shuffling strides. They wear ragged clothing and the only emotion is a guttural moan from time to time. This is what I used to think; and then I met Red Victoria. This film does for zombie’s what Silence of the Lambs did for your average psycho. It gives us a character version that is smart, sophisticated and wickedly cunning. All with a slight hint of seduction, and if you dare say so, likeability. That is important to a genre that before possibly only appealed to a select group of film goers. But Victoria, even though you know she has to be vile and wicked at the core of her motivation, is at the same time endearing. She’s the bad girl that you can’t say no to. And this makes her appeal to the viewer much wider and for the other character’s, far more dangerous.

The film is about Jim (Anthony Brownrigg). He is a nice guy who writes nice stories. Nice stories that don’t sell. So when he is prompted to pen something in the horror genre it is clear he doesn’t have the guts for it. What he needs is a muse. What he gets is something far more than your average inspiration partner. He gets Victoria (Arianne Martin). Dressed in a red and black bustier with a voice and manner that is cool and even, this Victoria’s secret is that while prim and proper on the outside she is all zombie at heart. The problem is that by the time Jim realizes this, the darker his world has become. He now has to find a way to write his story while saving his friends from Victoria’s calm, but brutal wrath.

This film is not only a boost to the Zombie genre but the Indie film world as well. As the credits role you see the same 3 or 4 names appear for everything. When Arianne isn’t on camera she is probably holding one up. Likewise, Brownrigg not only writes, directs and stars in the movie he is associated with everything from wiring to lighting to catering. It is the heart and soul of the Indie world. All hands on deck and everyone do what needs to be done for the finished project. There is no room for pampering. But many times with a limited staff the final outcome suffers. Not the case here. Red Victoria stands her ground as a solid piece of movie making. New comers like Edward Landers show that untapped talent combined with a heart for acting can bring about a stellar performance. Landers plays Jim’s best friend Carl who is a horror aficionado and is thrilled to have a real zombie in their midst. He is the comic relief and adds much humor to each scene he is in. But the unarguable star of this endeavor is Mrs. Martin. She truly makes her Zombie smooth and sophisticated and hopefully a prototype for the female living-dead of the future. Sometimes it is as subtle as a tilt of her head or turn of the body. These actions give Victoria the personality that you remember. But under that seductive smile and twinkle in her eye is a sinister brooding. It is a darkness that deepens as the film progresses. And Arianne moves through each level perfectly.

Red Victoria is not yet rated but does contain adult material. Though comedic at times and often tongue and cheek it is a horror film. Some mild adult language and scary images make it geared for older audiences. I highly recommend you seeing this film the first opportunity you get. Granted it will be in limited viewing due to its Indie nature but keep it on your radar. I would be surprised if this isn’t picked up soon and marketed to more theaters. It deserves its shot at larger audiences. I give Red Victoria a well earned 4 out of 5. It is a positive improvement for the genre and an impressive venture for the Indie realm.

Matt Mungle (matt@mungleshow.com)(2/13/08)

“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and co-hosts a weekly radio feature, The Mungles on Movies, with his wife Cindy. For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website www.mungleshow.com”

Review copyright 2008 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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