Directed By: Steven C. Miller
Starring: Garrett Jones, Juliet Reeves, William Howard Bowman
Tag line: "Blood...Will...Run"
Trivia: Automaton was first made as only a Trailer by Steven C Miller while still in school
Automaton Transfusion is a zombie flick that was shot in 9 days for somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000, and, at times, the film suffers from many of the same problems that plague your typical indie horror fare. One thing that certainly isn't a problem, however, is the gore. With some truly impressive splatter effects, Automaton Transfusion is a low-budget film that offers a slew of big-time thrills
The movie follows a group of high-school students whose classes are abruptly ended when one of them (Timothy Miller) attacks a professor (played by director Steven C. Miller). Three friends: Chris (Garrett Jones), Scott (William Howard Bowman) and Tim (Rowan Bousaid), take advantage of the early dismissal to check out one of their favorite bands, which is appearing at a small bar in the city. At the same time, Chris' girlfriend, Jackie (Juliet Reeves), heads off with her friends to a neighborhood party. Before the night is out, however, they'll all be running for their lives, with an ever-growing army of bloodthirsty zombies hot on their trail.
The makers of Automaton Transfusion definitely got their $50,000 worth in the bloodshed department, pulling off some amazing gore sequences that get underway almost immediately. During a pre-title scene, a hospital orderly named Charles (Chrish Shepardson) is sweeping out the morgue when he hears a series of loud thuds coming from inside one of the drawers, where the remains of a recent murder victim (Kyle Safieh) reside. Frightened out of his mind, Charles slowly makes his way over to the drawer, then cautiously opens it, revealing (yep...you guessed it), a zombie lying inside, just waiting for a fresh throat to chomp down on. But this zombie does more than simply tear at Charles' neck; it snaps him in half at the waist! It's the first of many well-executed, not to mention over-the-top, kill scenes, and it isn't even the craziest (that distinction must go to the zombie who attacks a pregnant girl. For fear of spoilers, I won't say anything more, but trust me...you'll know the scene I'm talking about when you see it).
To be sure, there are moments when Automaton Transfusion stumbles: the story is rushed along, never really giving us a sense of where the zombie outbreak started, and the number of 'infected' seems to multiply with no real rhyme or reason, growing from a handful to hundreds in a very short period of time. Probably most frustrating of all is the ending, which is basically no ending at all, just a lead-in to a proposed sequel. Now, admittedly, these are some serious issues, any one of which might cripple a film on its own. But with Automaton Transfusion, the kill scenes are just too damn creative to allow little things like structure and flow to get the better of it.