Thursday, April 25, 2013

MULBERRY ST. (2006) movie review

Mulberry St. (2006) d. Mickle, Jim (USA)

Shot on a budget that wouldn’t cover a Hollywood production’s craft services, Mulberry St. takes an outlandish premise (infected rodent attacks result in hordes of bloodthirsty mutant man/rat creatures) and firmly anchors it through realistic human drama and fully fleshed out characters. It ain't rocket science, but I'm consistently shocked how many independent horror filmmakers fail to grasp this simple equation of thrills, blood spills and emotional investment. Take note, folks - this is how it's done.

Co-written by Mickle and lead actor Nick Damici, the film evokes “infection” terror, a la 28 Days Later, and like Danny Boyle’s apocalyptic stunner, consistently surprises us with its nimble combination of humanity and horror. Creepy and claustrophobic throughout, with some genuinely scary moments featuring makeup whiz Adam Morrow’s impressive rat creations. In addition to Damici (who is terrific), the unknown ensemble cast delivers big-time, with special kudos to Kim Blair, Bo Corre, Larry Fessenden and Lou Torres.
Shot on location in NYC with limited sets (nearly all the interiors are redressed versions of Damici’s own apartment and building) and zero permits, this is an incredible independent effort that should be required viewing for any budding horrormeisters who think it impossible to create a worthwhile film with limited financial resources.

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