Stalled (2013) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rest (in peace) room zombies

Directed by Christian James and with a runtime of 84 minutes, this 2013 British zombie comedy horror film mostly takes place in the stall of a women’s toilet cubicle – hence the name “Stalled“. It is fair to say that this is toilet humour as it is written by and stars Dan Palmer, who goes by the name W.C. in the film (the name being the toilet humour part in case you though I was suggesting that Dan Palmer is $h1t).

At a Christmas party, things start going wrong. Party-goers are turning into flesh hungry zombies. Meanwhile a janitor, W.C. is stuck in the lady’s bathroom and fighting for his life – or surviving at least anyway. There are a series of flashbacks which set the characters up, and there are some monologues to explain how feelings are being handled. There is a bit of gore as you would expect, but never too much to make the film a full-blown splatter horror film. Some of the comedy is ok, but there are a lot of cultural references which only relate to the time the film was made rather than being an all-spanning and encompassing reference point. W.C. is not entirely alone, as there is another person stuck in the room too, but she is a voice only and is never really seen. The addition of a second voice helps to make the film a little more than just one man’s isolation in the situation which might have become tedious extremely fast.

Unashamedly a low budget film (£45k) with a nice concept, but it never really takes off fully and left me wanting something more to happen. I like that there was a confined element to the film and this helped the theme, but by the end of it the concept had worn down on me a little bit – the dialogue only entertained me for so long. I guess if you strip back something like “Night of the Living Dead” or “Shaun of the Dead” to a single room, with a single character, add some modern humour, this is what you get. Dan Palmer carries his creation on both shoulders and does not embarrass himself, but the film is as limited as location it uses. This is never going to be an all-time memorable zombie film, but it is a nice enough situational film which zombie fans will want to watch just for the sheer hell of it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/10)

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