Zombies are everywhere. Not in the literal sense, of course, but they’re all over our television shows, movies and commercials—mainstream to the point that they aren’t even fun anymore. Maybe that’s why a Georgia-based indie production studio decided to make a film with zombies instead of a film about zombies.
“Pushin’ Up Daisies” isn’t a horror film, and, while it’s shot like a documentary, it isn’t exactly that either. It’s a quirky, off-beat look at the notion of boundaries and how they shape our expectations, both in the movie theater and in real life.
The story begins when aspiring young filmmaker Darren (Sheehan O’Heron) leaves Hollywood for his small Georgia hometown to make a documentary about flowers and their significance in the major stages of human life: birth, death, marriage, et cetera. He hopes to capture raw, emotional reality by shadowing his brother Rusty, who delivers flowers for a living. But finding a film crew in a small Georgia town is tough, and Rusty has no desire to be filmed. Darren soon finds that these are the least of his worries when zombies begin taking over the world and threatening his artistic vision.
While “Pushin’ Up Daisies” is definitely low-budget, it does a lot with a little by managing to be both hilarious and poignant, striking a careful balance between the two. In keeping with the mockumentary style nearly every scene in the film is a single take, giving the audience the sense that what they see is really happening.
The odd appeal of “Pushin’ Up Daisies” has attracted a great deal of attention, even winning it a nomination for Best Feature at Dragon Con Film Festival. Since the film’s premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival, it has screened in four different countries. It also represents one of the few instances in movie history where a blind actor—Birmingham resident Ken Osbourn—plays a significant on-screen role. Having been a voice-over talent for almost twenty-six years, Osbourn fits into his movie role as voice-over talent for Darren’s documentary perfectly. “It was a dream come true for me,” says Osbourn. “I gained the satisfaction of knowing that a ‘real blind guy’ can actually star in a movie when given the chance by an adventurous director to play the part of a blind guy!”
For those in search of something different to watch this Halloween, “Pushin’ Up Daisies” should not be overlooked. For those sick to death of zombies, this film provides a real human story and a lot of dark humor to go with it. The film is available on Amazon Instant Video and definitely deserves attention.