City of Rott (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Voices by Frank Sudol
Directed by Frank Sudol
Distributed by Unearthed Films
If there's one thing that has been ultra-hot for the past few years, it's the zombie genre, but it didn't used to be that way. The Seventies and early Eighties were especially kind to our favorite rotting rampagers. Classics like Romero's Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead were painting the big screen red, alongside Italian imports like Lucio Fulci's Zombie (or Zombi 2 for you purists). Times were good until the unthinkable happened. Fans had to sit through a near twenty-year long lapse in quality undead entertainment. There were a few memorable titles here and there, but mostly zombies were as cold as their dead flesh. Lucky for us, the dead just keep coming back. Yep, they are walking again, and they are everywhere. Can there really be too much of a good thing? Maybe. I am always up for a good ghoul fest, but I've been getting that "the public is reaching their saturation point" feeling as of late. So I pose the question: Are you a fan that's growing a bit weary? Do you think you have seen it all? Well, I've got some good news for you, sunshine -- with Frank Sudol's fully animated (yes, that's right, animated) City of Rott, the worm has again taken a turn for the better.
I know what you're thinking: "A zombie cartoon?" You bet your sweet ass! City of Rott is a blood-splattered blast from beginning to end that's heavy on the sick!
It's been about a year since the heavens opened and the infectious worms came. The Earth's water supply has been infected by a strange parasite known as Rot Worms. Rot Worm eggs were delivered to our world via raindrop, and there's no place on the planet that is free from their tyranny. Once hatched, they begin feasting on human flesh, turning their hosts into mindless zombies. Considering that the world is seventy percent water, it's a safe bet that the human race is pretty fucked.
Survivors are out there, and City of Rott follows the exploits of one of them in particular, a grumpy old fart named Fred. Fred's just your average everyday zombie holocaust survivor. He's pissed off about the plague, spends almost all of his time alone, and is in search of the one thing that will make his remaining golden years a bit more pleasurable: a new pair of comfortable slippers. Armed with only his talkative walker, the occasional firearm, and an attitude, Fred heads out into the dead-lands and will stop at nothing to retrieve his prize.
That's your set-up. Not very complex, but hey, this is a cartoon. Some may be turned off by that alone, but give it a chance! You'll see that this animated (or should I say re-animated?) feature is a zombie fan's wet dream and is in no way to be considered kid stuff. That is unless you're raising a tiny horror fan of your own. If that's the case, brother you've just hit pay dirt! City of Rott is probably the single most violent cartoon I have ever seen in my entire life. It pulls no punches and goes for the throat from its opening seconds straight through to the end credits. Flesh is torn, bodies are vivisected, and the red stuff is splashed around with unabashed glee. There is simply no way for any self-respecting living dead fan to watch City of Rott and not fall in love with it.
And who is the person responsible for this crimson-stained cartoon? Frank Sudol. It's obvious from the film's commentary that Frank is one of us, a true fan. Making City of Rott was a labor of love for him...he did everything. He wrote, directed, produced, edited, voiced, drew, animated, scored, and every other thing you can think of by himself. Frank, my hat is off to you, brother. You've given us a gift that's bound to offend plenty of shit-for-brains, uppity, ill-informed morons, who despite many a warning to the contrary will no doubt claim that this dripping wet gore-fest is being targeted at our children. Thank you.
The goodies do not stop with the film itself either. During the aforementioned commentary track Frank is joined by the walker swinging octogenarian himself, Fred. Together the two talk about the nuances of making a zombie film, the inspirations behind embarking on such an endeavor, and of course the importance of a good Bavarian creme donut.
Also included on the disc you'll find multiple picture galleries, some deleted and extended scenes, and two of Frank's animated short films, Psych and Rise Zombie. Truth be told, the two short films were the only disappointment to be found within the package. Not because they were bad but because I wanted more. Much more.
I cannot recommend this DVD enough.
Let me be clear: Your next move after reading this review should be simple. Scroll down, click the link at the bottom, and order it pronto. It's that much fun, that fucking gory, and that damned good.
Audio commentary with Frank Sudol and Fred
Rise Zombie animated short
Psych animated short
5 out of 5