Automaton Transfusion Review
Written by: Tim Hannigan
Day three of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival featured a zombie walk around the streets of Toronto with over one thousand zombies in attendance. The walk ended just in time for the amazing indie zombie opus “Automaton Transfusion”. Anyone lucky enough to attend this Canadian Premiere had the surreal experience of watching the film with an audience loaded with zombies. I guarantee that no one in the audience, living or undead, left the theatre disappointed.
Automaton Transfusion is a sickly executed blood barrage which is low on budget but huge on gruesome zombie mayhem. A group of teens in a small town are enjoying a typical night out after school – checking out concerts, going to parties, and chainsawing reanimated corpses in the face.
The film wastes little time with plot and character exposition and goes full throttle with a massive zombie assault that goes for the audience’s throat right out of the gate, and doesn’t let go until the credits roll. Three high school friends discover the outbreak while going to a bar to watch a band. They escape to try and save their friends and their town. There’s a little of the old military reanimating corpses mumbo jumbo tossed in for explanation. Don’t go into this film expecting some great social commentary or any new twists on the genre – it’s all about well executed executions!
The film appears to have been shot on digital video, which can be somewhat visually distracting. This is, however, a low budget zombie movie and for most fans of the genre the most important thing is the make-up effects. And when it comes to gruesome visuals this movie blows its big-budget counterparts out of the water. It looks like 95 cents of every dollar in the budget was spent on make-up effects and gore gags. Disembowelings, decapitations, eye gauges – this movie has everything any gorehound could want from a zombie film and much, much more.
This film is definitely bloodier, crazier and gruesomer (it is so gore-drenched I had to invent a word) than anything I’ve seen in a very long time. The audience couldn’t contain themselves, erupting in screams and cheers from the opening scene right through to the cliff-hanger ending. Apparently filmmaker Steven C. Miller has planned the movie as the first of a trilogy. It has been picked up by Dimension Extreme for distribution, which creates the real possibility that the filmmaker’s vision of two more films will be realized.
The directing, editing and acting far exceed what you would expect for something shot on such a limited budget. A perfect flesh-feeding fiesta for zombie fans hungry for a bloody good time!