After a little research, which consisted of reading about 10 random blogs, 10 comments on Amazon, and one thread on IMDb, I’m convinced I have to add my two cents on Automaton Transfusion (2006), written and directed by Steven C. Miller.

3 stars out of 5

While there are a few redeeming qualities to Automaton Transfusion – the title not being one of them – it does not earn Bloody-Disgusting’s “Best Zombie Film in Decades” endorsement on the DVD cover art. It’s too choppy and immature for that distinction.

But, Miller does show quite a bit of promise and I don’t say that lightly. Perhaps there’s still time for him to read critiques and edit the sequel accordingly. Insert wishful thinking here. And yes, there’s a sequel in the works. Maybe all the haters should blame the reviewers who hyped the film far beyond what it actually is?

Just a thought: When you refer to a film as the “Holy Grail” of independent horror, it’s important the movie can live up to the connotations of such a statement. Unfortunately, Automaton cannot.

Questionable writing, inexperienced actors, and extremely blurred and shaky handheld cinematography are the three main areas where the movie failed.

So what are those redeeming qualities mentioned above?

Well, in my humble opinion, the most obvious is the delicious devouring of human flesh. I mean, come on; if you’re watching a zombie flick, you’re expecting a certain amount of gore. Automaton delivers. There are two particularly brutal scenes that will have you near vomiting — how yummy! Another reason I rated this so high is the honest to goodness use of tension and suspense. Miller obviously knows how to orchestrate such scenes and I hope he uses that talent in his upcoming films.

Overall, if you can get over the not-so-stellar writing, the way-too-shaky camera work, scenes that introduce and kill a character in the same scene, or clichéd choices (e.g. leaving the safety of a vehicle to investigate), you might be able to enjoy this movie.

Low expectations wouldn’t hurt either.

If you have to see as many zombie movies as possible like moi then this one won’t be too hard to sit through but, at times, you will squirm.


Automaton Transfusion on IMDbon NetflixPurchase from Amazon

1: a mechanism that is relatively self-operating; especially : robot
2 : a machine or control mechanism designed to follow automatically a predetermined sequence of operations or respond to encoded instructions
3 : an individual who acts in a mechanical fashion

1: an act, process, or instance of transfusing; especially : the process of transfusing fluid (as blood) into a vein or artery
2 : something transfused

1 a : to cause to pass from one to another : transmit b : to diffuse into or through : permeate
2 a : to transfer (as blood) into a vein or an artery of a person or animal b : to subject (a patient) to transfusion

(DVD bought & viewed on 3/25/09)

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