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Mulberry St.

Directed by Jim Mickle

Written by Nick Damici, Jim Mickle

Starring Nick Damici, Kim Blair, Ron Brice, Bo Corre

Produced by Linda Moran, Adam Folk

Rated R

84 minutes

****

Well, this is it, kids…the end of the road. A kind of zombie movie, which means it’s my greatest hope for the entire After Dark Horrorfest. And while the dystopian thrills of Tooth And Nail proved definitely to be top of the heap, will Mulberry Street manage to take over?

Or will this zombie flick prove as rotten as the corpses?

While watching, in the opening minutes, I was quite thoroughly prepared to lambaste this sucker for being slow to start. In a movie with a run time as slim as Mulberry Street’s is, a slow minute can’t be spared. Small run times require fast pacing, and one wasted minute is a minute no one can afford. But thankfully, they keep the pace going with plenty of interesting surprises, as well as a nice look at just how bad things can get when you’ve got a whole lot of people in one confined space.

In other words, when things get real bad—be it a rat attack or Zombie Apocalypse or what have you, New York City is not where you want to be.

Perhaps what’s most interesting about Mulberry Street is that it’s basically a kind of Rat / Chud Apocalypse. I know how ludicrous that sounds, but when you see it, you’ll understand in horrifically clear detail how true it is. Watching news reports intermingle with the actual bloodsport on the streets gives the whole an almost surrealistic sense. As the trains stop running and the arc-sodiums lose their glow, the city begins to crumble in this jangled-nerve sort of affair. It’s amazing, really. It’s a slow-motion train wreck, a cacophony at thirty-three and a third, and eminently watchable.

The ending is fairly well standard for this sort of movie, with a whole lot of good guys down and the whole attack problem less than resolved. But still, it ends solidly enough so there’s no reason to complain.

The special features are surprisingly extensive, including storyboards, deleted scenes, outtakes, early sketches, a behind the scenes featurette, makeup tests, visual effects tests, audio and video options, plus Spanish subtitles and English subtitles and closed captions.

All in all, a nicely done bit of near-Zombie Apocalypse by Mulberry Street, and definitely worthy of a top ranking. Arguably the best of the ‘07 Fest, it may be tough to say “Manhattan’s being attacked by rat people,” but it’s definitely not tough to watch!

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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