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Colin - The Story Of The £45 Zombie Movie
Josh Saco , October 31st, 2009 13:02

Yeah, yeah, yeah: we know what we said about zombies two days ago. But what better way to celebrate Halloween is there than with a 45 quid, recession-busting zombie movie? None, says punk rock DIY fan Josh Saco

I have often found myself drawn to the finer things in life. These fine things are not necessarily immaculately cut suits, items that glimmer in the sun, or even wine that fills your mouth with all the fragrances that have blown through a vineyard.

No, for me there are few things finer then rummaging through a tattered old box bursting with seven-inches, black gold; vinyl, that is.

Hidden under the layers of dust and years of scum, whether it be grooves of the 70s or 80s it has always been punk rock. Punk rock and the freedom that it gave to the creative, angsty youth of those dark years gone by. They always seemed to work with whatever they had at their disposal, striving to make something better. Hidden in those long forgotten sevens, underneath hand-drawn covers, lie gems waiting to be unearthed. Gems of passion and power, three-chord wonders.

I grew up with a DIY ethos, I suppose alot of us did, but I remember the first time some old spiky, slightly crazed anarcho punk said to me "You know what's always fucked me off, Josh? It's not fuckin' DIY! It's DIYP! Do It Yourself Properly."

I was never going to argue with him, for at the time there was little coming out that seemed like it was done properly: the "kids" just seemed content to do it themselves, but that proper passion, love, and pride seemed to get watered down. As long as they did it themselves, they were sticking it to The Man, they were no longer interested in proving they could do it as well if not better.

So you can imagine my joy when I thumb through another box at another used record stall and find one of these old gems. I run home bursting with excitement, gingerly place the needle on the record, sit back and wait . . . to be disappointed more often than not. But much like digging for oil, when you strike, you strike big.

Much has been made of the £45 that it supposedly cost to make the latest zombie film rampaging its way through the festival circuit. Colin is a true gem, a DIYP triumph. Much like the early days of punk, when you gathered your friends together and took advantage of their individual talents — talents that they had effectively spare and begging to be tapped, people who wanted nothing more then to donate time and passion to what they saw as a worthy cause — so grew the sensation that is now gracing cinema screens across the country and selling in HMV as an exclusive two-disc box set.

The camcorder Colin was recorded on now sits next to Hellraiser props in the Movieum of London. The fantastically named director, Marc Vincent Price has been dragged from festival to festival, wowing Cannes, Raindance and pleasing even the hardest core of fans at Film 4 Frightfest. And when poor bedraggled Marc couldn't attend, the leading man himself, Alastair Kirton, would shuffle his zombie self down to Spain or wherever else he may be needed.

What this film is missing in budget it makes up for with enthusiasm and professionalism. No doubt there are jealous film makers abound who are cursing these two and wondering why their films aren't as raved about and winning awards as Colin is. What could they be doing wrong? I'm not sure, but as Al said to me, "We just wanted to make the very best film we could, we weren't making a film to get us in the door - we were just making a film."

Within the first few minutes you can tell that this is a movie made by people who know their craft; while they may not have the experience, they certainly have the talent. Though borne from a night of watching Romero films with a few tins, Colin couldn't be further from the man considered by many to be the master of the genre. It's a sweet and touching film that produced the most unexpected emotions since The Iron Giant, as it follows our poor anti hero from his resurrection and wanderings as a juvenile zombie through his eventual maturing and decaying interspersed with moments of humanity and faint glimpses of his life he once had, but no longer understands. This BIFA (British Independent Film Award) nominated flick is the Let the Right One In of zombie films, as much about the humanity of the monster and ultimately humanity as it is about horror.

A true gem, like those old dusty 7"s, when you see it, you can't help but respect the love and passion that went into the little bit of magic before you. It shouldn't be a surprise that this was produced on only £45; what should be a surprise is that more films are not produced for £45. In today's world with the technology at our fingertips and the talent around us, we are in the wild west of creativity — this is the gold rush, this is the frontier land, we can all rush forth and stake our claim.