Make-Out With Violence (2008)

DVD Cover (Factory 25)
Genres: Comedy Drama, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Drama, Teen Drama, Zombie Film
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Deagol Brothers Deagol Brothers
Brett Miller Brett Miller
Shellie Marie Shartzer Shellie Marie Shartzer
David Fuqua David Fuqua
Zach Duensing Zach Duensing
Gail Sparks Gail Sparks

4.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: July 09, 2008
From scenic Hendersonville, Tennessee comes "Make-Out With Violence", one of the most unusual films I have seen this, or any other year. Describing it is difficult. Watching it might prove even more difficult for some. Personally, I was captivated from beginning to end.

The film is set in the Summer of...well...it could be the 1980's or it could be present day. We learn that a local girl, Wendy Hearst (Shellie Marie Shartzer) has gone missing and we immediately see how this affects her friends and loved ones. Patrick (Eric Lee Lehning) is beside himself. He was always in love with Wendy and now he will never see that love fully explored. Carol (Cody Devos) has more on his mind than his missing friend -- like the re-emergence of Addy (Leah High), Wendy's best friend and the girl he loves. After Wendy's funeral, Carol is out in the fields with his little brother, Beetle (Brett Miller), when they find Wendy's corpse hanging from a tree. The kick is, that though Wendy is dead, she's still kicking around and moving. Carol and Beetle take Wendy back to their house, and so the entertainment ensues.

You can't really lump this film into a single genre. It's a comedy, definitely. Some of the dialog exchanges are just downright hilarious and I thought the directors were shooting for this blend of John Hughes meets George Romero and I think it worked quite nicely. It's also a horror. We have a re-animated corpse kicking around in this whole Japanese horror manner that sometimes comes off as more than a little unnerving. And it's a drama. There is a lot of teen angst going on in this film -- love triangles and games of the heart. Most of the focus of the film is actually the relationships, with the re-animated corpse in the house getting less and less attention as the film goes on.

The film was obviously shot on digital, and the filmmakers make it work to their advantage. There are some beautiful shots in this picture, especially the underwater sequences and just about every scene involving Wendy. The directors also manage to keep us in suspense, never knowing where the film is ultimately going. It casts this spell over you -- it almost seems dreamlike in the way the story is woven together. I want to compare it to something...but I can't put my finger on it...I guess the closest thing would be that episode of "The Adventures of Pete and Pete", where Michael Stipe played Sludge -- it had the kind of feeling for me.

The only downside to the film, as far as I am concerned, is some uneven acting from some of the leads. But, I found myself forgetting about the couple of lackluster performances just because I was so captivated by the rest of the picture. If a film can make me do that, it has accomplished something. "Make-Out With Violence" is now on the festival circuit (which is how I stumbled across it) and I don't know what will happen with it. I would love to see it shown some love on the indie circuit, and I am definitely curious to see what these two directors have in store for us down the road. They certainly have creativity to spare. 8/10.
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