Be prepared for plenty of short film reviews in the coming weeks. There are about 20 different flicks on tap, so you can go ahead and recognize this as a primer for what’s to come in the immediate future.
Jimmy Lui’s extremely brief short, The Hopping Dead doesn’t make a world of sense, and it never once tries to tell a compelling tale. But it’s not supposed to. The pic is shot for chuckles, not fear, and it really succeeds in not only being humorous, but engaging as well. Even the shortest of short films can leave viewers bored, but Lui’s flick doesn’t come close to fitting into that category
As I noted, there isn’t much of a story here, but there is framework. Within this framework we watch from afar as two crooks make an attempt at burglarizing a business, only to encounter what looks like a dead body, standing upright. As you might guess, that body does indeed exhibit a second mobile life, and he may just be the night security guard, because he’s faster the intruders. Just… hopping right after them. I admit it does seem to enable more ground to cover in better time.
Are the stereotypes true? Are Asians really light years beyond us ‘Muricans in the intelligence department?
I’ll tell you right now, I’d never be clever enough to come up with hopping zombies. It’s genius!
The Hopping Dead is occasionally creepy, occasionally tense, and completely and totally hilarious!
Jimmy Lui is an excellent writer and director. The film is crisp and the lighting looks great. The individuals behind set, making sure the wheels spin smoothly, are all terrific. Hell, we even see a little martial arts action that’s executed in surprisingly polished fashion – this is refined choreography. Everything about it looks and sounds good.
I’d typically give a film this short a 2.5, maybe a 3 at best, simply because there isn’t enough time to invest in the characters. We don’t even have a chance to respect the conflict. But The Hopping Dead isn’t your standard genre piece, it’s a subtle comedic riot drenched in gallons of slobber spewed from lips unleashing loud guffaws, and it’s earned a stronger rating. Did I mention it features one of the greatest uni-brows ever captured on film? You know that’s got to be worth some style points!
This is the kind of short film I can dig.