Updated: Dec 3, 2019
Written/directed/voiced/everything: Frank Sudol
Picture the scene.
A city infested with zombies. Their mournful wails echoing through the air.
Survivors are few and far between, occasionally braving the streets to search for food and supplies.
Amongst all this chaos, death and destruction there shuffles an old man. Alone, seemingly unarmed, shuffling along clinging to his walker.
An old man named Fred.
He shuffles slowly down the streets, danger lurking at every turn, but the old man has a mission. There is something very, very important that he needs to do.
Because his feet hurt and he wants some new slippers.
Oh, and he thinks his walker is talking to him.
City of Rott is an animated feature from Frank Sudol who worked as an assistant animator on South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. The animation in City of Rott isn’t what most people would expect when they think of animation, so if you’re expecting something like Toy Story, Spider-Man into the Spiderverse or even South Park, you might be disappointed.
City of Rott has more of a flash animation look, but don’t let that put you off because the film has a hell of a lot going for it.
For starters, let’s get back to the story.
there might be danger lurking around every corner, but luckily for Fred, he’s a dab hand at using his walker to tackle the undead menace and rip off heads and smash skulls with surprising ease for one old.
There’s also an explanation about the genesis of the zombies which doesn’t happen very often. This time around rather than leaving thing unexplained or even having leaky barrels of Trioxin, the zombies are caused by worms that burrow into the flesh and then take over the brain. They then drive the corpse until there is nothing left. Destroying a zombie is also dangerous work as once they've been killed the worms will leave the body in search of a new host and if they get into your system, it’s over.
Or is it?
What if there is a chance that the worms might have a different effect on their host?
In addition, other survivors are introduced from time to time and they all tie into the story nicely. Even a character that you would expect to be included just for the purpose of being zombie chow has a greater impact than you first realise.
Another nice touch is that even though we are witnessing the aftermath of the outbreak the methods that were used to try and counter the zombies and even try and cure the infection are made known to us.
The amount of thought that went into creating the world and explain things rather than just go, ‘it’s zombies’ and leave it at that definitely deserves a pat on the back.
The only downside to the film is just how difficult it is to get hold of. I was lucky enough to import it on DVD a few years ago but the fact that the movie hasn’t had a UK release is such a shame. Other than that and the fact that sometimes the audio can get a little muffled and/or distorted, I have no complaints with the movie.
Sure you can pick fault with the style of the animation if you’ve been weaned purely on a diet of Pixar and Studio Ghibli and won’t accept anything less, but if you do, you’re missing out on a real treat.
I really enjoy the movie and think that if you like zombie films and heaps of gore then you are going to enjoy this.
Also, any budding animators should take a look too as it’s a good example of what can be done by just one person.
In fact, everyone should give this film a look as it's just well written and entertaining.
In addition to City of Rott Frank has also created the Evil Dead-like Dead Fury, the alien invasion flick Shock Invasion and a sequel to City of Rott that throws aliens into the mix as well. He also created a series called Tales of the Dim, but as they are very hard to come by in the UK, other than City of Rott, I’ve only seen Dead Fury.
If you fancy something different that has an entertaining story, is bloody and also fun, then City of Rott is definitely one to watch.
If you’re not quite sold on the idea of the film yet, and fancy something a little more than just Fred looking for some comfy slippers, here’s a run-down of some other things you can expect to see in the movie: Guns, chainsaws, motorcycles a buxom nurse and prune juice.
The movie is available on DVD from amazon.com:
So, sit back and enjoy the zombie-infested journey of Fred and Walker in this link to the trailer on Franks BlackArro Cartoons youtube channel:
If you want to see more of Frank’s work, you can check out his website too: https://cityofrott.wordpress.com