Monday, October 18, 2010

"April" Review

Films about the joys and challenges of raising zombie children are rare, but have been on the rise in recent years. Few, however, capture the struggles of the child with as much poignancy as comedy mock short “April.”

Found wandering the woods by a young couple, April (Kallie Kerns) was immediately adopted. It was their goal to assimilate her into society by home-schooling her until they felt she was ready to attend a public high school. The other students, however, were not so ready to have a deceased classmate. There was the smell, for one thing, her difficult movements and her highly unusual diet. She struggles with all the typical issues that can make zombie kids magnets for ridicule.

But April won’t be deterred. She is determined to do well in high school, to fit in. But when one practical joke goes too far, there are doubts about whether or not April will ever be able to live in a world so unfeeling toward the “pulse impaired.” The comedy film “April” wonderfully captures the profound sense of isolation of someone trying to fit in who is fundamentally different.

What is this allure the undead have for the living? We want to love them, care for them, be scared by them. Perhaps it’s our own desire to have what they have, to never die. Perhaps we relate to them, feeling out if place in the world of the living. Whatever the reason, writer/director Mike Piccirillo understands our fascination and our need. He has a good sense of comedy as well as a deep understanding of what it is to be lonely. Kallie Kerns captures April’s range of emotion beautifully, letting the soul shine through her monstrous exterior. A deft and detail oriented performance... for a zombie.

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