The Shortround: Alice Jacobs is Dead (Review)
Alice Jacobs is Dead (2009)
Directed by Alex Horwitz
I found the trailer for Alice Jacobs is Dead last week. It was a short that from the trailer seemed to give us a different perspective on what a zombie film could be.
And what a difference it is.
Here is what we don't see: Zombie hordes in mass, kinetic, fast moving zombies, good guys vs zombies or any zombie attack force.
Here is what we DO see: A couple who are deeply in love until the bitter end despite a sickness that ultimately leads both of them to their deaths.
Alice Jacobs is part zombie film, part romance story. It's zombmanticism. A new subgenre of zombie films that takes the Romero of old and adds in a tender juicy slice of love. Put in the shoes of our brilliant doctor and having to choose between the woman he loves and the safety of the human race, it's an ethical and moral question that puts the viewer to the test. What would you do?
Dr. Ben Jacobs saved the world. The drug he created allowed mankind to fight back against the Z-virus, which nearly destroyed civilization entirely. Now, in the aftermath of the crisis, hes trying to cure the last victims of the virus. But what will happen when he brings his mysterious work home?
Alice Jacobs is Dead stars John La Zar as Dr. Ben Jacobs and Adrienne Barbeau as Alice Jacobs. It has a feel of World War Z as we are 2 years removed from the outbreak, with a partial cure coming from the doc. But unknown to all, including his lab scientist George, his wife is sick with the virus as well, having been prolonged by Jacob's "cure". She lives between life and zombie life,
a purgatory of hell in which she is imprisoned in her own home.
Barbeau is perfect as Alice who has to deal with this conflict. Trapped and beginning to get the cravings of a soon to be undead, she deteriorates before our very eyes. In the penultimate scene of her pending transformation, she devours tasty red meat in glorious cannibalism. La Zar is solid as the doc and husband who blinded by love lives only to find a cure and keep his wife alive.
Later, our junior doc discovers Dr. Jacob's "secret" which leads to the chilling conclusion. Dr. Jacobs has to make a choice. Keep his wife alive or kill her to protect humanity. That's the foreground question of AJID. But the backround question is what Alice decides to do. She too has to make a choice. Prolong a life isolated from humanity or let the sickness progress and turn into the inevitable. Which would you choose?
Romero made us feel for Zombies with Bub in Day of the Dead, but never have I felt torn for how I felt about Alice Jacobs. Humanizing people with a sickness may be the satire of this zombie short but it's packs an emotional POW!
Alice Jacobs is Dead is what zombie movies should be in this new millennium. Spinning a new perspective on this genre, questioning our morality and adding scenes of terror and gore to the satire.
At the end of watching Alice Jacobs is Dead, those 2 questions will linger in your mind for a long time. What would you do?
Some ripped intestines
Blood trauma to the back of the head
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
Check out the official site and Facebook page for more information. Thanks to Alex Horwitz for sending me a screener of the short film. Hopefully the short will make its go around in festivals soon. People need to see this if they even consider themselves a fan of zombie movies.
Check out the review of this short on Planet of Terror as well.
Check out the trailer below.