I think the ultimate message of most horror movies, whether they involve serial killers, vampires, zombies—whatever—is Sartre’s maxim: “Hell is other people.” (That’s right—I’m dropping existentialism on your asses. And I’m surely misappropriating this most famous of existentialist quotes for a write-up of an indie horror flick about zombie beavers.) You’re never really sad to see most victims go, because loving care is taken to ensure that each of the doomed is freighted with a character flaw we all recognize and love seeing vicariously impaled, beheaded, engulfed in flames, and what have you.
. . . Which is why I have to hand Zombeavers the ultimate compliment I can give a horror movie: it shocked me. Stunned me. Because the last survivor among our generally shitty group of college kids is—
[MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT]
No, not the precious blonde whose boyfriend and best friend have wronged her . . .
And not the resourceful bro who most seems to have his shit together . . .
And not even the local hunter who seems preternaturally aware of the dangers to come . . .
No. None of these. The last survivor is:
THE SLUTTY BITCH!
This is, of course, a flagrant violation of all the genre’s moral imperatives. This is like finding a way to break all Ten Commandments at once, then doing it again for shits and giggles. When she and her friends approached the lake for a swim and she alone took off her top, I thought what anyone who has ever seen a horror movie would: “Yeah, she’ll be dead in less than fifteen minutes.”
But no! As the others are slain and/or infected by the zombeavers, Slutty Bitch carries on!
I don’t think I need to tell you much about the plot of Zombeavers beyond that salient point, as said plot is pretty much summed up by the title. I would like to hand out a couple more compliments before we part, though.
First—kudos to the special effects people. Quick rule of thumb: if you’re making a movie at such a low budget you can’t hope to product realistically frightening monsters, don’t try. Instead, go all in on the essential ludicrosity (I hereby dub that a fo-real word) of your movie.
How so? Why, just take the puppets from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas and zombie ‘em up.
And secondly, I appreciate that Zombeavers plays itself straight up, with very little wink-wink yes-we-know-we’re-in-a-horror-movie-let’s-be-meta-about-it.
But enough about the other positive aspects of the movie. Let’s get back to the meat of the issue: Slutty bitch FTW!
This is revolutionary! This movie should be enshrined by the Library of Congress for so flagrantly violating the founding principle of an entire art form. This is Picasso going cubist, folks. Dylan going electric.
And if you think I’m being a bit hyperbolic, you’re worse than Hitler.