Automaton Transfusion Review
Written by: TiM the Zombie
Automaton Transfusion is about a small group of teenagers who head to Grover City for a Dance Floor Tragedy concert. Unfortunately for them, back in the 70's, while everyone was in a panic about Vietnam, the military was secretly devising ways to revive the dead to have them fight for them. It worked, but they needed a testing ground, to see what these "zombies" could do. Somewhere small. Secluded. Not listed on any map. If you guessed Grover City, you guessed correctly. As the teens arive, they encounter leagues of blood thirsty zombies just waiting to prey on human flesh. It's a battle of the living vs. the dead in this fast paced, goresoaked, action packed horror flick directed by up and coming filmmaker, Stephen C. Miller.
The story behind "Automaton Transfusion", while simplistic, is actually rather cool. That was something that always stood out to me, even before the film was shot. It's not some new, hip, pretentious, confusing story behind the walking dead. It's simple, yet interesting at the same time. And, I guess, could make sense.
The acting was pretty weak. And, no, it's not just because this is an independent film. It's because the acting was weak. It felt forced. Almost as if there was no motive behind the performances. That was one thing that threw me off a bit.
The gore effects and make up were excellent. Rick Gonzales and his crew did some amazing things with the small, small budget they were working with. And it looked good too. Miller also made sure to not shy away from the red stuff. Blood was flying everywhere. It was awesome. Even a few scenes in particular, "Jaw" and "Fetus", were beyond par with the standards of today. As the tagline reads, "Blood Will Run", and it sure as hell does.
Another thing that stood out to me was the music. Not necessarily the soundtrack, not a big fan of emo/screamo type music, but the actual composed score. It was pretty damn cool. Nothing too complicated or articulate, but it sounded cool, nonetheless. Reminded me of the music in a JC film. Which is obviously a good thing.
At first I wasn't sure whether this film was shot on video or film. I mean, OK, it was kind of obvious it was shot on video, but the transfer really makes you think otherwise. It's like a pixelated, crappy version of both. Maybe it was the lighting in a few places, but the entire film seemed to be dark and pixelated. Was it the transfer? Am I crazy? I have yet to figure out, but that REALLY bugged me throughout the entire film. I'm still not sure what's up with it. Also, the camera moved around a big too much. I realize that the intent was to make it feel like you're actually there, like we've heard hundreds of times, but this was just way overdone. A few times, I couldn't even make out what was going on because of the damn shaky cam. Kinda' pissed me off.
At first, I hated the ending. Hated it. However, with that being said, having dug up some more info on the ending, I can now appreciate it and understand it to a more full extent. So, in reality, it's not as bad as I first made it out to be.
All in all, this is a great low budget, independent zombie film. A worthy edition to any zombie fan's collection. Do yourselves a favor, and pick it up. If nothing else, support independent filmmakin! That is all.