Plague – a review

March 27, 2010

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really not into low budget films. While the occasional gem does appear, most zombie flicks on shoestring budget aren’t worth the time spent watching them. Therefore I’m very happy to say that the indie short film Plague blew me away.

Directed by Matt Simpson and produced by Frances Moylan, the 2009 Australian short film Plague tells the story of Vilhelms, a Latvian gun-runner that travels to the UK to escape in search of a new life. As is often the case in this genre, a zombie plague sweeps the nation and Vilhelms is swept along.

Zombie movies are all about characters. Zombies as such aren’t really interesting, but the survivors’ reactions are. This is what I liked most about Plague. It’s simply a low-key story of one man’s survival in an apocalyptic scenario with a voiceover narration from the character. The film manages to capture that “what would I do?” feeling so crucial in zombie stories. What you have here is an ordinary guy. Sure, he’s done some gun trafficking, but that doesn’t make him an action hero even if he uses a gun a few times in the film. Whether he’s hammering zombies, cooking beans or shaving, you can relate to Vilhelms.

While I’m not into low budget stuff in general, I love good short films. They’re usually made by young indie film makers who aren’t forced to conform to larger studio standards nor to cater to the needs of the general public. Also they’re not burdened by the need to create a full-length feature, so what we’re left with is a very concentrated, intensive piece of cinema. Plague has a running time of approx. 16 minutes, which is just about perfect. The story is told in full, not dragged out or cut short.

The crew on this film is obviously very, very talented. Makeup is easily on the level of big budget zombie films in terms of quality, and there are enough zombie extras (19, to be exact) to create a convincing scenario. The cinematography is excellent, and this is probably the artsiest zombie flick I’ve seen, definitely in a good way. I hope that Mr. Simpson has a chance and the drive to work on more zombie projects, as I’d love to see a full-length film of this quality.

Overall verdict: Plague is one of the nicest pieces of zombie cinema I’ve seen in a while. It’s inspired, clearly a labour of love and definitely makes the most of – and surpasses – its meagre production values. There’s absolutely no reason not to see it.

You can watch Plague for free at the official website. And when I say can, I mean should definitely now go.


  1. Thanks for the heads up on the film. I’d have never seen it without your link. Cheers!


    • Always glad to be of assistance! That’s pretty much what the blog is for, and that’s probably the best kind of comment to receive.


  2. […] this day I’ve seen two zombie short films. The first one was Plague, which was awesome. When I ran into another one, I figured that it would inevitably suck. Laws of […]


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