2006
Rated: R for graphic violence, gore, torture, adult language, and disturbing imagery.
Genre: Animated Horror Action Thriller
Directed By: Frank Sudol
Running Time: 1:17
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 10/31/06
CITY OF ROTT

 


Fred: I can’t have worms, what about my slippers?
Fred’s mind: Seriously Fred, take those slippers and shove them up your ass, already.

Don’t be fooled, its goofy animation isn’t a sign that it’s for kids. This is strictly an adult affair, folks. Imagine “South Park” played with a straight face, imagine Romero’s “Dead” films without a plot, and you’ll get Frank Sudol’s “City of Rott.” An old man is the basic hero for Sudol’s zombie epic in which a new toxin discovered in water creates a citywide epidemic of flesh eating zombies that are rotting from the inside out. Armed with only a walker, which is his best friend, his means of conveyance, and his weapon, he looks around for some new loafers to help his ailing feet, but he can’t stop running into those stupid zombies, and the parasites that leak from the bodies when destroyed. Sudol’s film is gladly not all gimmicky, and based around a series of typical but well done Romero homage’s, and rules: Stay out of the malls, don’t drink water, don’t wash your hands, and keep quiet.

The rest is common sense. Avoid the dead, don’t get bitten, and kill the worms. But Sudol’s film is so shameless that it’s entertaining. With awfully rigid animation, we’re given non-stop gore and splatter, and well enough characterization that he keeps us watching and slumping down in our seats anxiously. Sudol strives in originality as well; an old man as a hero who kills the zombies with his walker? Who has ever done that before? Surprisingly enough, the character of the old man could have been played for comedy, but Sudol plays him with the utmost sincerity.

 

He’s intelligent, fast, crafty, and strong in spite of his fading memory and sanity. His mind betrays him in spite of his best efforts toward survival—or is his fading mind a tool? All he knows is that he can’t focus well enough until he finds his trusty walker (lost in an attack), and a new pair of shoes. Sudol’s film is basically nothing but the old man talking to himself, and destroying zombies for a little over an hour. Normally, I’d frown upon a movie with such a slim plot, but I just enjoyed the hell out of “City of Rott” and every gory moment Sudol served to me.

Sadly, once the second half rolls around, the film stalls and desperately clings to its own concept to attempt to stretch the film to its running time which is a little over an hour. We get to run around with Fred, but then, for no reasons at all, we’re introduced to a slew of survivors struggling to find food, many of whom are offed and torn to shreds. Why do we focus on them just to watch them die gruesomely? I could never decide for sure, and even the climax where a character is re-visited still left me scratching my head as to where Sudol was going, and why he went there in the first place. The end feels an awful lot like padding, and with a shorter run time, “City of Rott,” wouldn’t have suffered.

Not many films can have a senile old man with a walker as a hero in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and not draw it comedically, but “City of Rott” pulls it off with flying colors. The gore is plentiful, the animation simplistic, and the plot slim, but it goes down smooth and sweet even if the climax is hard to swallow.

  • Frank Sudol directed, acted in all the roles, animated, produced, etc.
  • For more information on "City of Rott," visit the official website:  http://www.myspace.com/fsudol

 

 

 


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