Director/writer: Patrick Horvath.
Every year there must be 300 to 400 horror movies which are released each year worldwide. This reviewer hears or sees about 15% of these and it truly is amazing how some great indie horror films go right under the radar. Such is the case for Patrick Horvath’s Die-ner (Get It?). This film only recently made a blip on the radar and this is a film from Osiris Entertainment which mixes a zombie apocalypse in with some interesting characterizations. Full of headless zombies, insights into motivation, and a sympathetic serial killer, Die-ner is one film that needs to be in everyone’s 15%.
A “wandering and unassuming serial killer” (Osiris) makes his way into an isolated diner, where he starts a curious conversation with the local server, Rose (Maria Olsen). This lonely killer likes to connect with his victim before “kill[ing] the diner’s waitress and cook” (Joblo). Here things take a turn for the undead, as both late-nite workers come back from the afterlife. Soon, shamblers are propagating their numbers through the usual methods. A couple is broken apart, a childhood is briefly regained, and a sad dispatcher tries to make the world right before things go back to the universal norm of chaos. Basically, the s*^& hits the fan!
One element of the film that must be mentioned is actor Josh Grote’s resemblance to the famous actor Ed Norton: “with Fight Club-era Ed Norton looks” (Joblo). Even his mannerisms are strangely similar to this famous, yet lean actor. Thankfully his acting, along with others, is up to the challenge of showing frustration, resentment, and courage in a world gone undead.
There really is a lot of gore in this film from make-up artist Lisette Santana, who shows her knack for removing fingers, heads and for basically making the shamblers look very deadish. Most of the characters by the end of the film are covered with bruises or sprayed with blood and everything looks realistic thanks to Santana’s eye for believability.
This reviewer’ favourite scene is when Ken digresses from the action of the film to tell the surviving characters why “life does not matter as much” (Die-Ner). This is great writing as Ken states that we are are social animals who have “peaked” (Die-Ner) and why he could easily kiss or kill one of the other characters, Kathy (Liesel Kopp). Not many films will stop the flow of the film to insert a strong message about social Darwinism, social progress, or existentialism. This diversion is only one of several elements that makes the film unique and memorable.
This film has already moved to DVD August 24th of this year and the actual release, unlike this screener, holds a few goodies like: a behind the scenes clip, a photo gallery and of course the trailer. Die-Ner (Get It?) has won awards e.g. Best Supporting Actress and the film is notable for its high production values despite a small budget ($500K): “the production values…[where] surprisingly high for an indie film” (Joblo). Just as the promotional material states, this is “a zany, horror-filled escapade and wild zombie invasion,” which this reviewer enjoyed more than once. See this zombie madness for the thrill ride that is true horror entertainment!
Plot/story/closure: 8 (sub-plots are often what makes the film and they are here, bit of a tragic ending).
Setting/authenticity/believability 7 (maybe one of the few contentions as the Die-ner does get a little claustrophobic after awhile).
Overall: 7.5 out of 10 (a little short too at 76 minutes).
A review of the film at JoBlo by Pat Torfe:
Die-Ner Reviewed at Joblo
The film’s homepage:
At Osiris Entertainment with trailer:
Die-Ner (Get It?)