Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Chuck Hartsell, Michael Shelton, Kyle Holman, Chris Garrison, Eric McGinty
Directors: Chuck Hartsell, Chance Shirley
Genres: Comedy, Horror
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Southern Zombie Goodness
!Vision! | 05/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hide And Creep is another addition to the ever-growing popular treat known as the zombie comedy. Following on the successful heels of Shaun Of The Dead, it is but another entry into the new zomcom world. Several other such films have been released with varying degrees of success and many more are poised for release in the future. Unfortunately, the problem with movies venturing into this genre is that they walk a fine line between being completely idiotic messes and actually being able to balance the zombie-horror element with comedy. Luckily, Hide and Creep succeeds in its attempt.
Hide And Creep strongly follows the Shaun format, whereas everything involving the zombies is serious and only living people are used for humor. This keeps the menace of the zombies intact and allows the everyday humdrum of life to be examined and poked fun at. Another similarity to Shaun is how the characters seemingly try to continue their mundane existences even in the midst of a zombie outbreak. It is this device, like Shaun, that generates the most humorous moments.
Differing from the single straightforward story of Shaun however, Hide And Creep, to its credit, involves the interweaving of four separate stories. None of the characters are strong enough to pull off an entire movie alone, but the ensemble cast crossing each other's paths and dealing with the colorful supporting cast worked excellently. Nice performances are turned in by all as well, and what could have been stereotypical redneck depictions has enough simple charm to make the custodian of all-things-redneck, Jeff Foxworthy, burst with pride.
The first story involves Michael (played by Michael Shelton) whom we are first introduced to with a surprising affront of male nudity. A declaration of sorts, letting you know right off that everything you are about to watch is going to be tasteless and crude, yet breezy and comfortable. We quickly learn that Michael is an alien abduction victim (the very same aliens blamed for the rise of the undead) and that he has been dropped off in the woods without his clothes, his girlfriend, and most importantly to him, his car.
Our second story involves Chuck (played by Chuck Hartsell), a video store owner and horror movie aficionado who is more interested in drinking beer and watching the Alabama football game than he is in battling zombies. He is the first person to encounter the zombies and after dispatching one in his store he drops the body off at the local sheriff's office and sets off for breakfast. To his chagrin he is further involved by the sheriff's office secretary, her ex-boyfriend, and an ambiguous government agent.
The third plot involves the local reverend (played by Barry Austin) who has his hands full with absentee parishioners, deadbeats borrowing things from the church, and worst of all his transformation into a zombie after being bitten. His portrayal is sympathetic and ironic as apparently he is the only good Christian in town.
The last and probably most humorous story involves four members of a local gun club caught in the tumultuous uprising of zombies. The leader, Keith (played by Kyle Holman) is perfect as the gun-crazy yet humble family man. Keith and his cronies are attacked in the woods but make a daring escape. They then make their way into town to warn the good people of Thorsby, Alabama of the threat but find that no one really seems to care all that much.
These four stories cross paths several times and really give the sense of scale that was needed. There are no large crowd scenes, military operations, or massive onslaughts of zombies, but having a small cast make their way around to several locations overcomes this low-budget barrier.
Hide And Creep does have its shortcomings. The zombie makeup was simply that, just a little makeup. Gore is pretty much non-existent, except for copious amounts of blood. These are minor grievances and are forgivable given the small amount of money the film was made for. The foremost strength of the film lies in the writing. There are more innovative scenes, southern colloquialisms, and redneck pop culture references than you can shake a stick at.
The DVD widescreen transfer is nice albeit slightly soft, as Hide And Creep was actually shot on 16MM film, a rarity these days with low budget filmmaking. The mix is in 5.1 surround and really sounds clear and sharp. The understated soundtrack doesn't hurt either."
Molly Hodgdon | South Burlington, VT | 07/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I'm a born and bred Vermonter and I loved, loved, loved this movie. So, no, it is not just a "Southern thing". It's a horror thing, a zombie thing, a good movie thing.
The people who made this movie had almost nothing to work with, but totally spun gold from straw. It's funny, clever, well-paced, well-shot, good effects, and most of the acting while not 100% polished was 110% sincere and engaging.
I've watched hundreds upon hundreds of horror movies and found Hide and Creep a welcome relief from all the bad CG, apathetic writing, stilted dialogue, and hackneyed trash out there made by greedy clods just trying to make a buck. Hide and Creep has humor, horror, and heart. See? I liked it so much I felt alliteration was called for."
I'm prejudiced, but ...
A.W. Miller | Birmingham, AL United States | 12/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK. I personally know several of the principles in this film, so I'm predjudiced. But I'm a pretty fair judge of cinema, and I can write a review with correct spelling and without vulgar sexual references. So ... onward ...
I'm not a zombie-movie fan, but you don't have to be to enjoy the zany, self-deprecating humor of this film. If you're a Southerner, you'll recognize your neighbors, your friends and perhaps even yourself in the instantly appealing gallery of characters. That is what makes this movie work -- it never takes itself too seriously and asks the audience to do the same. Approach it as "high horror" and you'll be disappointed. Approach it as high parody and you'll have a great time.
The dialogue and visual imagery can be a bit rough at times, sometimes unnecessarily so, but otherwise this is a very respectable debut film that will have you snorting."
Are you from Alabama? You'll love it.
T. B. Kemp | Birmingham, AL USA | 08/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This really is a great, funny movie. Unfortunately, if you're not from Alabama (or at least the South) you won't get half the jokes they make. You might not even realize they're making a joke. Little things like raising the price of milk and bread because of zombie attack, stopping to eat at Firehouse BBQ while running from zombies, telling the news anchor to shut up and put the Alabama-Auburn game back on and several other small things are hilarious if you've lived here.
The movie was filmed in and around Montevallo, AL and shown at the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham. The music in Hide and Creep is superb and was done by Eric McGinty. Eric may just be the hardest working musician in Alabama. He also plays Ned, the first poor member of the Thorsby Gun Club to meet an untimely demise.
This movie was released by Asylum and compared to other Asylum titles the acting, direction, effects and cinematography are incredible. Compared to most of the other straight-to-video horror movies I've watched all of these are still very good."