Tales of a 5th Grade Zombie Slayer has enjoyed some moderate success on the festival circuit; having initially finished in the top 3 of the 2013 Scream Factory Competition, it’s went on to receive considerable acclaim, and the upcoming follow-up, Day 57, has already played before a sold out crowd back in October at the Horrible Imaginings Horror Film Festival in California. At this time of writing, it is currently an entry in the Rue Morgue sponsored Horror Block Monstrous Movie Contest awaiting the results, but regardless of whether it wins or not, Carl Smith and Jeffrey McLaurin can be proud of their work. This is going to bring a lot of smiles to the faces of horror fans.
Tales of a 5th Grade Zombie Slayer: Day 1 is the first of a prospective web series chronicling the adventures of groups of kids as they try to survive a zombie apocalypse. Each episode will be based on a different day of the outbreak, and will follow a different group of kids every time. During Day 1, we follow a group of kids as the outbreak is happening and watch them transform from Little Rascals to bat-wielding, brain bashing bad asses. It’s The Sandlot meets Dawn of the Dead – and yes, it is as good as it sounds.
Personally, I love movies where children are heroes; and I love movies where children get massacred. Tales of a 5th Grade Zombie Slayer has children smashing zombie children with bats in a playground, so what’s not to love? We don’t get a lot of horror adventures in this day and age where the kids are heroes, never mind the monsters, so it’s a pleasant change of scenery to see a universe without adults where the brats can run amok.
The performances from the young actors are fantastic and adorable. Not only is it obvious that everyone involved is having fun, but the kids are very talented and I predict we’ll be seeing some of them crop up in movies and TV in the future. There’s one iffy moment where a kid doesn’t react to finding his mother dead; but maybe he hated her so it’s not important.
With more episodes on the horizon and a comic book companion, Tales of a 5th Grade Zombie Slayer has a bright future and long may it continue. Zombies have been done to death in horror, but every so often they come along and bite you in the good way again – like a love bite. I am happy to report that Tales of a 5th Grade Zombie Slayer is a hicky to be worn proudly without a scarf. This has the potential to be an excellent ongoing adventure, full of exuberant charm and children being harmed. You can watch Day 1 below, so check it out, give it a like and a share, and support independent film. 8/10
Written & Directed By:
Jeffrey McLaurin & Carl Smith
Gabe Krut, Jourdan Jackson, Wyatt Chapman, Marco Baroudi, Tyler Desharnais