Warning: This film is NOT for weak-pissers!
Zombie Western: It Came from the West! is an independent short film created by a small production team out of Denmark, Happy Flyfish, that really deserves more attention than it I think it received. Released back in 2007, It Came from the West! was mostly kept to the indie circuit where it garnered several "Audience Awards," but never managed to breach the public consciousness much further.
Inspired by the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leones, not to mention the zombie horror of Peter Jackson and George A. Romero, the film follows a weakling named Virgil whose short stature and shrill voice has made him the butt of every "big gun's" joke... including his own rough-n-tumble father. As it turns out Virgil's daddy also happens to be the legendary Dark Butcher, an infamous cowboy whose violence against the local Indians has come back to haunt him in a big way! Angered by his ruthless tactics, the Indians cast a resurrection spell that causes the dead to rise and attack the local saloon where Virgil and his father reside.
Clocking in at around the 15 minute mark, It Came from the West! is a quirky mix of Meet the Feebles-style comedy with the splatstick savagery of Bad Taste that seems to end too quickly. Don't get me wrong, a lot of wicked awesome stuff happens within those 15 minutes, its just that as the credits roll I can't help but feel that there's more story to be told. Does Virgil get revenge on the Indians? Does the zombie plague spread across the entire west? These are small nitpicks, but they really plant a seed of hunger for more zombie/western, puppet madness.
Right now, the only way to see the film is to download it via Klicktrack, though there is also a PAL DVD with English subtitles. I opted for the Brain Eater Surf Expansion Pack which comes complete with 4 musical tracks from the film (featuring spot on performances by bands Tremolo Beer Gut and El Ray). At roughly $8 its not that bad of a deal, though I'm a sucker for having a physical product to hold. The video quality could have been better, but seeing as how its meant to be played on an iPod its not terrible either. I would also have liked to see more extras whether it be in the form of character art, bloopers, or production stills... any of which I would have gladly paid a little extra for.
If you have the extra dough and/or are a fan of puppet on puppet ultra-violence I highly recommend this one for purchase. If nothing else perhaps it will help finance the studio latest stop-motion project entitled Goutte d'Or (Drop of Gold). Check out Vimeo for a sneak peek.