A zomedy for agoraphobics!

by Jason Howard

It’s a British comedy about zombies, so it must be Shaun of the Dead, right?  The granddaddy (and still best) of all British zom-coms is an unfortunate umbrella for all future entries into the subgenre to have to step out from under, but, it comes with the territory.  When a film comes along that is actually successful in it’s sidestepping of the obvious comparison, it becomes all the more appreciated.

Stalled is the story of an office maintenance man, forced to work during the company’s Christmas party, attempting to clean the ladies restroom.  It would appear, however, that clogged toilets and soap-scummed sinks are the least of his worries as a zombie outbreak has taken over the party outside.  Along with the voice of a woman two stalls down, he must discover a way out of the loo without becoming the next meal.

Stalled
Directed by
Christian James
Cast
Dan Palmer, Antonia Bernath, Tamaryn Payne
Release Date
TBA 2013
Jason’s Grade: B-


To be completely honest, the zombie genre of late has gone from being one of my favorites, to one that I cringe whenever I hear of a new one (pretty much weekly it seems).  It’s refreshing when a new entry comes along that completely redefines the genre.  Stalled is not one of those game-changers, but it is still a good bit of fun.

Playing as a sort of mash up of Romero, The Office, and Phone Booth, the movie plays almost as a one man show.  Luckily, the lead performance by writer Dan Palmer is quite charismatic (despite playing a bit of a loser) and is more than capable of carrying the weight upon its shoulders.  He has a dry wit that helps ensure you remain on his side throughout the ordeal.

Director Christian James has several inventive ways of dealing with his film taking place largely in one confined space.  The script by Dan Palmer also has a pretty good bit of irreverent humor to play against the heart that is also on display.  Special effects aren’t going to win any awards, but they certainly do the trick as needed in a low budget film such as this.  Supporting performances are, again, serviceable, but also nearly non-existent.

JASON’S FINAL THOUGHTS:

If you can ignore the obvious comparisons to certain other films, and set your standards at the appropriate level, you’ll have quite a bit of fun with this one.  Like James and Palmer’s previous film, slasher comedy Freak Out, the filmmakers display a knowledge for a genre that they are obvious fans of and deliver what fellow fan will want to see.  Palmer also makes for a very effective lead in this almost-one-man-show.