Zombies are just amazingly popular, there is no doubt about it. Especially in the 21st century, these creatures have gained such a massive appeal that it is difficult not to come across them all the time on the internet or even while browsing any streaming services. There are countless series, movies, and books that deal with the subject, and Zombie Meteor is just the latest project to arrive that deals with the creatures. However, this time, the short film takes them to space, and all of a sudden, zombies are exciting again.
Not that they are not exciting at all, but zombies have become so prevalent that the novelty factor is basically non-existent nowadays. Nevertheless, directors José Luis Farias and Alfonso Fulgencio have found a way to make zombies feel fresh again by taking them into space. Zombie Meteor feels like the perfect mix between the zombie genre and Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity.
The short film tells the story of two astronauts living on the International Space Station. One day, on a routine system check, the pair discover that something sinister is aimed at the planet.
Zombie Meteor is an animated short film. It is all made using CGI, and it has chosen to go for a comic book aesthetic. Those who have played The Walking Dead series of games, developed by Telltale Games, will find the aesthetic to be very familiar. The characters almost seem extracted from that series of games because of the way they are animated and shaded.
It makes for a pretty cool look, easy on the eyes, and it allows the story to go as gory as it can be without having to actually look very violent at all.
We can say that, in terms of visuals, the film is fine. Of course, you will not find Pixar-quality animation here, but we are sure that what we have here can be improved. The animations still feel stiff at some points, and there is a lack of detail in the textures. The other weak points concern the writing, where the characters are a bit too stereotypical, especially Petrov. It is understandable that the filmmakers are trying to be funny, but using such a stereotype as a comedy tool feels dated.
There are also a couple of things here and there that feel completely illogical when it comes to the plot. You end up letting them go because the exact premise of the short is not one trying to be realistic, but still, those points take you out of the story every time they pass in front of you. If the team has the ambition to expand this premise into a full-length feature, it would be nice if they could iron out those rough edges so that the story feels a bit more sophisticated than it is.
The short film is an excellent example that there are many projects out there with the potential to be cool features. For a long time, the industry has been nominated for what Disney and Pixar do in the realm of 3D animation, while the 2D realm has been dominated for decades by the anime industry. Seeing new voices make their way through the realms of titans and actually come up with cool stuff really bodes well for the future of animation outside of the usual suspects.
In the end, Zombie Meteor manages to be an excellent short, carried by a very cool premise and fun visuals. The short film is short but sweet, with a running time of about 12 minutes. The overall package has some weaknesses, but it goes without saying that this project has enormous potential if expanded into a feature-length film, with more time to increase the tension and explore the characters to their fullest. Indeed, it is a great companion to The Antares Paradox during this edition of Fantastic Fest.