The Short Shack: Universal Dead

The Short Shack: Universal Dead

We Are Indie Horror would like to welcome Maria Perry to the team. Maria moved to Los Angeles to work for the We Are Indie Horror favorite, Repo! The Genetic Opera where she had her first job in the industry making and shipping merchandise. She also filmed interviews and helped book screenings alongside FearMaker SpookyDan. Since then she has always been a part of horror either as a costume designer or a Producer. But in her own time she writes what she loves, dark stories and everything gothic and macabre. In this column Maria will be talking about horror shorts submitted to us. She will go in depth and hopefully entice all those who dare to watch.

This week at The Short Shack, we invite you to take off your shoes, socks, and everything else– we’ll need to inspect you for bites before we let you in to have a look at Universal Dead.

Vernon Mortensen and Kelly Parks have managed to pack more unique world building and zombie science into this fifteen minute short film than some features manage in their entire run time, and I am loving it.

The audience is dropped into a car transporting Dr. Macavoy (Gary Graham), clearly a very important man, into a secure facility– and almost immediately you become aware that the people in charge are struggling with PR and branding for this outbreak. They’d really rather you not refer to the zombies as the undead, and they want to know whether cities can be reclaimed and if any place is safe. Captain Trent (DB Sweeney) will be your guide in this world, explaining in succinct and perfectly brusque dialogue where they are, what’s going on, and what to expect.

Now, all of this is fairly par for the course, until Doug Jones shows up as Dr. Vataber to explain what zombies really are– along with his assistant, his beautiful and recently infected wife, Angela (Valerie Perez).

This is where things take a turn into places I, at least, have never seen them go before. But rather than spoil everything for you, like so many coolers full of rancid flesh, I hope you’ll click the link, put your headphones on, watch as revelations are made, the boundaries of science are pushed, and monsters are unleashed.

We can only hope this won’t be the last we see of Universal Dead.