Written and Directed by Maxwell Mattord

Rex Malone
Jason McKenney
Benjamin Bryan
Emalea James
H.M. Stone

With syringe in hand, a gray-bearded Doctor surveys the cadaver in his basement, deciding on the best spot to inject his re-animating agent. In the liquid goes. Minutes later the corpse returns to life and tries to rip the head off the good doctor. No zombie is a match for an ice-filled cooler to the cranium. Oh, to pop a cold one…

No, this isn't Grandfather of Re-animator or some such non-sense. It's the opening of FREEZER BURN, a blood-drenched new film from director Maxwell Mattord, which owes more that a few words of thanks to the Stuart Gordon film that inspired it, more like a letter of apology pleading with Gordon and company not to sue.

Like so many underground horror films today, FREEZER BURN is a love letter to the legends in the horror field. While it borrows heavily from Gordon, the film pays respect to the likes of Romero, Carpenter, Fulci, the list goes on and on. While it's not a particularly well written letter, it is one filled with lots of heart. Mattord's only goal is to satisfy the genre fan's thirst for blood.

Whether he succeeds or not is debatable. Some viewers will be turned off by the amateurish filmmaking. Others will be delighted by the twists Mattord adds to the zombie sub-genre (for starters, the zombies are also cannibals, a taboo for years). I was more impressed with the behind-the-scenes featurette detailing some of the more complicated effects.

The effects supervisor is Mattord's father, who seems at home in his machine shop helping his son rip the legs off a family friend or designing ways for the video camera to be dropped off the roof of their house safely. It would have been nice to see a more detailed construction of the camera mounting, but like the song says, "you can't always get what you want."

It might take Mattord some time to learn out his craft, but with his shear enthusiasm, I'll sure he'll keep plugging away until he does. He reminds me of Ryan Cavaline of 4th Floor Pictures. Both guys have the chin and courage attitude toward filmmaking, you jump in first and find out if you can swim afterwards. That's what underground film is all about.

Planet Francois Films
Witching Hour Video