The roots of the zombie sub-genre in horror cinema can be traced all the way back to White Zombie [Victor Halperin, USA, 1932], with the first modern iteration of course being George A. Romero’s seminal Night of the Living Dead [USA, 1968]. Since then, we have seen a myriad of takes on these iconic movie monsters, most recently (and memorably) with the The Walking Dead [USA, 2010–], which meteorically rose to popularity when first introduced on our TV screens a decade ago. With all of that it can feel like there is nothing more that can be added to a genre so saturated. However, One Last Bite delivers a quirky, fun, and charming subversion of what some may call a tired sub-genre.
One Last Bite tells the story of a young couple enjoying a romantic picnic in the countryside. It arises that they will have to go separate ways for a little while, when they are interrupted by a zombie. Just as quickly our male lead, on the way to taking care of this uninvited guest, is struck by a car. He wakes up with head trauma leading to mild amnesia and, upon recognising that he has forgotten everything post-zombie apocalypse, our main female lead tries desperately to keep him from realising the state the world is currently in.
There are touches of films such as Shaun of the Dead [Edgar Wright, UK, 2004] on display throughout, making for a short film that never takes itself too seriously. The world building is minimalist but the filmmakers are shrewd enough to know that, at this point, if the audience sees zombies, they will fill in the gaps. Additionally, even with its predominantly lighthearted tone, the tension is not diminished, and is dialled up progressively, leading to a sweet and charming conclusion, albeit with some punk-rock infused bombast.
This is a short that deftly finds solid footing in horror, comedy, and even romance to make for an original take on the zombie sub-genre. With unique stylings and a solid voice of its own, it makes for a bloody good time.