During a terrifying epidemic in the south, Bobby races his wife to the hospital in a desperate attempt to save her life and the life of their unborn child. After flipping his truck, Bobby comes to and sees that his wife is missing. Now he must set out to find his wife amongst a plague ridden landscape before it's too late.
"Velvet Road" is a 2011/2012 short film from director L. Gustavo Cooper and Fat Screaming Baby Productions. This 13 minute short film looks to bring back societal issues with it's horror and leave behind the exhausted zombie horde scenarios and the comedy element. Overall, "Velvet Road" is a great short film and well executed minimalist horror movie. I honestly believe short films are a more difficult medium to get right because you have to do the same things that a feature does, only in far less time.
With only three characters and very little exposition given on the circumstances of the story with "Velvet Road", it was still an engaging watch that, admittedly, had me wanting more. Even though I'm not a zombie-film fan by any stretch, especially with today's movies. The reason I enjoyed it is because "Velvet Road" focuses on the character Bobby and him trying to save his wife from this unknown epidemic. There is some minor zombie action in the movie but it only occurs to serve to the themes of the movie, it's not the focal point. It's a good character piece that was far more interesting to watch as opposed to the usual flesh tearing and exploding heads.
My only issue with "Velvet Road", and is probably more nitpicking than anything else. Is that the movie takes place in the 60's and the racial tension of that time is meant to add to the hysteria and paranoia that comes with the zombie territory. With a well placed audio cue from a radio broadcast that plays during the opening credits, where an announcer places the fault of the zombie epidemic with African-Americans. But when Bobby comes across Miles, who's handcuffed to the door of a police car, their interaction doesn't come off as racially charged. Bobby is, of course, hesitant of Miles thinking he is infected but the scene plays out as the typical infected/not-infected argument that occurs between two characters in every zombie movie. Certainly not a major issue -- probably more of a personal grievance than anything else.
It was hard for me to really get into "Velvet Road" only because I am completely burned out on the zombie sub-genre and pop-culture's obsession with the undead. It seems to be the only reason why I didn't enjoy the movie as much as everyone else has. (I think I enjoyed this movie more because of the quality in production and creation, rather than the movie itself.) However, that does not change the fact that "Velvet Road" was a very well made movie. The cinematography and score/sound design were especially outstanding in the movie, and serves as a bitter reminder of what so many movies are missing these days. And in general the movie hit all the marks that it needed to: characters, story, pacing, etc. All were well done, and while some moments were a bit better than others, nothing actually fell short of being good, at the very least.. Negative feelings aside about the sub-genre, I definitely would have been happy to see "Velvet Road" go on longer (the one down side to a good short film). Instead, I'll settle on waiting for the next movie from L. Gustavo Cooper and his team that made this movie. No doubt they could put together something spectacular.