Produced, Directed, and Edited by Ed Brisson
Written by Nick Sheehan
Director of Photography - Jeff Christenson
Ryan - Toren Atkinson
James - James McBurney
Hold-Up Man - Butch Murphy
Homeless Man - Joe Keithley
Ray - Jon Mikl Thor
"There's got to be a less ridiculous explanation for all this," Ryan replies to the idea of necromancy after a bullet has punctured the left side of his neck and blows out the right side like a fist-sized bloody zit.
But of course that's the reason why the dead walk in this black comedy that's best described as CLERKS OF THE LIVING DEAD, a title reflecting the two most obvious cinematic comparisons for Ed Brisson's GRAVEYARD. Necromancy is just as valid a reason as radiation from a satellite, or hell being all booked up. Whose to say that evil 24-hour bookstore owners don't dabble in the black arts in order to turn unmotivated, unambitious minimum wage slackers into lifeless zombies that will work for free?
The satire of the situation isn't lost in Nick Sheehan's script, which was inspired by he and Brisson's lives as register jockeys. Is there really a difference between the 20-something, coffee-swilling, pseudo-intellectuals who aspires to a slackerdom of nothingness and someone who is physically dead? The only difference that I can tell is an actual pulse. Are all bosses truly evil servants of Satan? Well...have you ever worked a minimum wage job?
After watching GRAVEYARD about 6 times during the last year and half, the most recent viewing came right after a screening of SHAUN OF THE DEAD, the fan-favorite zombie feature that covers the same satirical ground, of which Brisson's film is able to get to the point in about 1/6th the time. Being an amalgam of such high-profile genres as Kevin Smith films and zombie epics, Brisson and Sheehan realize the material works best as a short. Any longer and the gag would run out of steam. Granted, the witty GRAVEYARD doesn't exactly match the level of hilarity as SHAUN, but GRAVEYARD never wastes a second, or a line, in getting to the point.
Even the title works on multiple levels, referring to the shift our heroes work as well as the place where they should be. It's part of the verbal whit that makes GRAVEYARD as much fun to listen to as it is to watch.
As a short film, Ed Brisson's GRAVEYARD is an excellently made horror-comedy in its own right, but its presentation on DVD is phenomenal. Easily, the most fun and enjoyable short film DVD presentation that I've had the pleasure to screen. Every aspect is geared towards entertainment, from the content to the commentaries.
Not only does GRAVEYARD have a commentary, but so do the other short films on the disc, Brisson's "Living with the Dead," and "Film #3." This in itself might not be that impressive, but when you hear actor Brian Fukushima's all-rap commentary for "Film #3" you'll be amazed at both the sheer outrageousness and ingenuity of it. Also included on the disc is an absurdist music video for Thor's "Walking in a Graveyard," the end theme to GRAVEYARD.