Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Ties That Bind

One of the biggest thrills at this year’s Hypericon* was getting a chance to see a short film directed by Jeff Heimbuch adapted from the Brian Keene story “The Ties That Bind.” A lot of people must have thought the same thing, since if you didn’t catch the first elevator to the screening room, you didn’t get in.

The Ties That Bind is essentially set in the same universe as the Keene books The Rising and City of the Dead, although the filmmakers had to be careful, since the film rights to those novels were held (at the time) by someone else. It is the story of a man who can’t let his wife go, even after she has fallen victim to the zombie plague, and the consequences of his decision.

It is a short film (14 minutes), shot on a budget somewhat shy of Transformers 2. The story is simple, but told with a degree of heart lacking in a lot of big budget movies. The anguish of the husband, central to the story, is well presented despite the short running time. One of the biggest mistakes independent filmmakers commit is to hire their brother-in-law or chiropractor to act in their movie, and Heimbuch avoids this, using two professionals (Kevin Interdonato and Logan Tracey) for the speaking parts, and they turn in good performances.

The movie is also very professional from a technical point of view. Heimbuch makes good us of transition effects better present time and the flashback to the incident that propels the movie. I did wonder if one element of the movie worked, i.e. the fact that if you “kill” a Keene zombie, it will just come back in a new host, thus a captured zombie will want to be “killed”. Since this couldn’t be explained, probably for contractual reasons, I wondered if people not familiar with the Keene books would understand it. (My wife hasn’t read the books, and she said she enjoyed the movie just fine, so I’m probably being overly nitpicky.)

The Ties That Bind will be released on DVD in August, and is now available for pre-order at Bamfer Productions, with the DVDs signed by Keene and Heimbuch, and at select horror outlets. Quantities are limited, so I’d recommend you place your order soon.

* The very biggest thrill was when Brian Keene said “Fuck you!” ** to me personally. It made me feel important.
** He said it in a good-natured way.***
*** I’m reasonably sure.


Jeff Heimbuch said...

Hello hello sir!
Thanks for the kind words on the movie. Glad you enjoyed it.
And yes, contract stuff kept us from explaining The Rising further...but hey, it still works! :)

KentAllard said...

Looking forward to when the DVD comes out.