Rescue By Way Of A Dead End
Bruce Von Stiers
It seems like zombies have been a part of our culture forever. From 1932's White Zombie to World War Z and beyond, it seems like zombies are something we just can't get enough of.
There just happens to be a new zombie film that is now making the rounds at film festivals. The title of the film is Dead End Drive. It is a film short that runs about fifteen minutes.
The film was directed by Alexander Yellen. He has a long list of television credits including episodes of Z-Nation and has worked on films such as Snakes On A Plane and Deadly Vows. Yellen was also one of the producers for this film.
Austin Basis is Oscar. His credit include guest appearances on the television shows Scorpion, Homeland and Magnum, P.I.
The film opens with a man, Oscar, who is running down a street. In the background, you hear a lot of noise. Zombie noise. It seems that Oscar is trying to get away from some zombies, even though we only hear them and don't see them. He turns down a dead end street.
Oscar sees a gate opening at a house nearby and a woman waving to him from a doorway. Reluctantly, Oscar goes to the woman.
That woman is Darcey. She lives in the house with her husband, Jacob, who is a wheel chair user. Darcy is played by Eileen Grubba. She's had guest roles in All Rise, New Amsterdam and S.W.A.T and roles in several films, including a drama I recently reviewed, Dark Hearts. Grubba was a producer on this film. An advocate for people with disabilities, Grubba has stated that she “produces films that include performers and artists with various disabilities to highlight their talents and give them the opportunity to build experience and valuable credits and exposure for their careers. They also mentor young artists in the disabled community who want to learn producing and directing.”
Tobias Forrest is Jacob. Forrest has been seen in shows such as How To Get Away With Murder and Wisdom of the Crowd and several films including Special Unit and The Sessions. He also wrote the story for this film.
The story unfolds as Oscar meets Jacob and, through a southern styled dinner, learns about a distant safe place called Sanctuary. What is the place, how far it is and how they would get there are questions that arise.
It seems that Darcey and Jacob are Preppers and have been planning for such an event as a zombie apocalypse for quite some time.
As I was watching the film I keep thinking that there was something else going on. It was already established that Oscar was running away from some kind of Zombie event. But Darcey seemed a bit too friendly to Oscar and Jacob seemed to be a stereotypical good ol' Southern boy. Was Darcey going to try to get up close and personal with Oscar, were the couple just really that friendly and trying to be helpful to get Oscar out of there? Or was there something else entirely going on? I kept waiting for a hook or twist in the film. When it came, I wasn't entirely surprised as I was anticipating something. But it was definitely a fun twist.
As I mentioned earlier, Dead End Drive has been making the rounds at various film festivals. It was an official selection at the Anchorage International Film Festival and the Dam Short Film Festival. The film is an official selection at the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema 2021 and the London Indie Short Festivals of 24 Frames for 2021. It was an Award of Merit winner at the Best Shorts Competition and a finalist at the NewFilmmakers NY festival.
Grubba recently won the Best Female Actress Award at the Best Film Awards for her role as Darcey. Basis won the Best Male Actor Award from the Best Film Awards for playing Oscar.
Dead End Drive is a fun film with a great cast and a delicious twist.
There is a Facebook page for Dead End Drive. There you can find out a bit more about the film and even view a trailer for it. The page is at https://www.facebook.com/DeadEndDriveFilm
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© 2021 Bruce E Von Stiers