I got a chance to watch a short film called Anniversary Dinner by the same people who brought us The Big Bad. This time the star of The Big Bad, Jessi Gotta, goes behind the lens to direct the short film. Not only does Jessi direct the twelve minute short film about zombies and romance, but she also co-wrote and acts in the film.
The short film is set in a zombie ridden world where the outbreak has been relatively taken care. We follow a man Frederick (Brian Silliman) sitting in his apartment with a big problem, his zombie girlfriend Leigh (Jessi Gotta). The man is so in love with her that he is holding on to her, hoping for some type of human element to come through. He is so delusional that he believes she can be brought back and has a nice dinner planned for them, but come on it’s a zombie. The evening does not go well and he locks her down in the bedroom again. Things go aerie when Frederick’s sister Beth (Alyssa Simon) comes over on the behalf of their mother to check up on him. Shit hits the fan when sis sees human remains all over the kitchen. She goes into the bedroom and sees Frederick’s girlfriend tided to the bed. An argument ensues and sis is ready to call the zombie cleanup crew. Frederick gets knocked out and the last thing he sees is his girlfriend breaks free and takes out the sister. We he comes to the girlfriend is standing over him and ready to eat him, but doesn’t. That last glimmer of hope Frederick had comes through, but Frederick realizes that it won’t work unless he goes zombie. After a few tense moments he goes through with it in a very gut wrenching kiss and the zombie outbreak starts again.
Jessi does a great job with her first attempt at directing. She was able to portrait the romance between two now total different beings in a manner that was not mushy or fake. Her characters point of view through the lens worked and I was able to see exactly what I wanted to see. I have a feeling this will not be her only film behind the camera.
The film has a good balance of humor and gore and the acting in the film was very good. Jessi was able to show emotion as a zombie and looked creepy as one. Brian did a good job showing emotion for what was once his girlfriend. There was good chemistry between the two. Alyssa as the sister was great and the way she treats her brother made it seem like they really could be family off screen. The setting, a normal apartment, was all that was needed to convey the story. The audio was good, nice and clear, and with that made the zombie noises even creepier.
The short is not that long and the pacing is good. There are no dead spots in the short, so your attention is not wandering off. The films open ending can lead to several paths, one of which I hope is a darker follow up, but with their humor of course. If you get a chance to see Anniversary Dinner then do so, this is the second project I have seen from Jessi Gotta and I have been satisfied each time.
For more info go to: http://www.anniversarydinnermovie.com