Aaron K. Carter’s post-zompocalypse film is probably one of the oddest experiences I have had watching indie/homegrown movies. It is currently on Amazon and stars Erin Miracle, Alexandria Lightford, Aaron Guerrero, Michael Camp, Kevin C. Beardsley, Juliette Danielle, Irwin Keyes, Ben Woolf. The story focuses on a Father/daughter drama of survival post outbreak, like way post. Very little society is left and most of the “rottens” have rotted away. All that is left is bands of people fighting one another to carve out dominance over the Kansas terrain. Throw in that only daughter seems to be immune from the virus that is blamed by the whole of female society for its destruction, and you have an old school male dominated saga unfolding.
First off I want to explain why I said this is one of the oddest viewing experiences I have had. “Dead Kansas” is by no means a strong indie zombie film, nor is it a strong story. There is just so much that noticeably goes wrong in every act- the writing, line delivery, timing, the characters – it all is just a off. And yet, there is some hidden entity that possesses this film’s atmosphere and energy that forced me to watch. I found small moments of gold in here that made me highly entertained. Plus some of the cast are nice surprises that legitimize “Dead Kansas”. Irwin Keyes, Ben Woolf both add something special to “Dead Kansas”.
The special effects are almost non existent since most is suggestive and off camera. Even the zombies are never really since except for once. It is a bit of a let down but in a genre over saturated with material already there is really nothing that “Dead Kansas” could have done to add to the situation. Still it would have been nice to see them a bit more. I get why Carter went with the concept that he did. It is creative and artist to place the viewer inside the eyes of the zombie by having the scenes switch to black & white. Plus with the scene that an actual zombie shows up on screen, that moment and how it pertains to the story and characters in the moment aims for profundity.
Overall “Dead Kansas” is gonna disappoint a lot of people who set out to watch the film. It is on the lower quality side of indie film making-not sure if they had a budget or not. Didn’t look like they did. The story is “been-there-done-that”, and the acting really should have been reigned in more on several of these characters. All that said, the oddity of nature that accompanies these characters, the off-tempo line deliveries, and the sound track somehow put off a Fred Olen Ray/Gil Bettman vibe. By the last scene I actually found myself into the surviving characters and excited that they left the story open for a sequel.