We took a little break from Short Shockers last week, but during that brief downtime we had a chance to catch up on tons of new horror shorts to add to our list!
Today’s short — Zombiphosate from French filmmakers Paul Lannelongue and Joe Buso, under the collaborative handle “Les Films Guacamole” — treads familiar territory with a thousand other living-dead tales, but nevertheless stands out as one of the more effective entries, thanks to some well-choreographed action and intense scares, with an undercurrent of sly humor. It also poses an interesting twist on zombie tropes that links the undead plague outbreak to the chemical “Glyphosate 8000” — which triggers instant and horrifying mutations in every living thing it comes in contact with.
The filmmakers consider the story a commentary on “social issues such as digital overconsumption or the industrial degradation of the environment,” but Zombiphosate is never preachy or heavy on subtext — choosing instead to get right to the flesh-chomping mayhem after a brief but important scene of exposition.
Shot in 2019, in the forest of Fontainebleau, Zombiphosate follows a group of friends on a wilderness excursion, hoping to get away from the rat-race and enjoy nature… but in a double-dose of irony, they come under siege from a zombified group of environmental activists.
If you experience a bit of deja vu while watching, it’s because Lannelongue & Buso intended it that way, drawing visual and contextual parallels to Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later and other zombie benchmarks — and I’m sure there’s a hint of Jean Rollin’s The Grapes of Death and Jorge Grau’s Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (a.k.a. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue) in the mix, especially in the plot setup and underlying message.
Even if you’re not a fan of reading subtitles (the film is shot in French, but the video below has English subs), you’ll still get swept up in the action, humor and brutality that plays out here in just over six minutes — not to mention your eyes and ears will enjoy some excellent widescreen compositions and a retro-feel synthwave score.
We hope you like Zombiphosate as much as we do… and we’re looking forward to more output from Les Films Guacamole in the future!