Review of: Room Temperature (rev. 6) 

reviewed by CJ Knight on 05/19/2009
Credited Review
CJ Knight
an enjoyable read. Credited Review
ROOM TEMPERATURE (REV. 6)
by AlCielo


COMMENTS:
First of all, I would think about changing the TITLE. It does not really convey the essence of what the story is about.

I loved the way the SP started. I loved the CONCEPT. I loved ROY and AVRIL characters and their funny DIALOGUE. There are a lot of funny lines in this SP.

Having set up the fact that the dead were rising from the grave, I thought we skipped forward in time too soon. I wanted to see more of the first scene and immediately afterwards. Was there any need to skip forward at all? What has happened in that first year? Surely the most interesting story is what happens after the zombies are released? This would have been the story I would have chosen to tell.

What I liked about this was the way that the undead were treated as a different “race”. Instead of people being scared of zombies, they were now treated as if they were the new “Niggers/Jews/Irish”, whereas normal people were called “The warm people”. I found this very interesting from a social perspective.

Whilst the SP is a good read and contains lots of comedy, I thought it lacked in direction, structure, and emotional depth….

In a normal zombie movie, the objective is to kill or escape the zombies. Completing this task is what happens by the end of the movie following a showdown. However, the problem that we have in this story is that the zombies are not threatening, so we are unsure whether or not they should be killed again or integrated into society. I’m not sure that the writer knew this either and this accounts for the weak ending.

The Sheriff’s investigation is what drives the story forward, but I’m not sure this was the best thing to do. The PROBLEM is that there are zombies in the town. It therefore stands to reason that the SHOWDOWN/RESOLUTION needs to be the removal of the zombies and/or an agreement to live alongside them. However in this story, nothing is really resolved. There has to be no ambiguity. Either the zombies are all going to die (again), or they should agree to co-exist.

A section needed to be set aside to establish the “rules” of how someone becomes a zombie and how they can be killed (again). In this story, zombies were eaten by wolves and other people died, but did not become zombies. Without the “rules” being explained, it was sometimes confusing.

The characters also attempted to get philosophical whilst debating “Buridan’s law”. Personally, I thought this debate did little to add to the story and was a distraction.

The “emotion” card could have been played to a greater extent, particularly as the sheriff’s son committed suicide. Regardless of this being a comedy, there was tremendous scope for zombies to lament on their premature death and/or comment on death and immortality. This would have more effect if we knew that the zombies were all going to die again. We could have lots of tearful “goodbyes”, etc.

All things considered, an enjoyable read.

Kind regards
CJ


FORMATTING/STYLE/MISC:
• There are various “extra” gaps in the text. Why is this? The most you should have is a double-space (i.e. two white lines).
• “Wonder why.” This is a question? Should have a (?)
• SHERIFF STEVE/REVEREND PATCH. Could you just use STEVE/PATCH?
• (trails off) (normal voice). Probably not necessary
• “The phone rings/phone alarm/A knock at the door/doorbell rings.” Put SFX in CAPS.
• FEMALE VOICE (ON PHONE). Could you name her? Then you can put (V.O.) instead of (ON PHONE).
• “A sinister computer-disguised voice answers”. No need for this. We are about to hear it.
• “More disappointment” This line means nothing.
• Generally you need to improve/detail character descriptions.
• The play on words during sheriff’s arrest is a bit weak and goes on too long. The same applies to the PS. PPS. BS. Etc.
• Too much talk, not enough action. Too much exposition via dialogue. Things should be “discovered” in the action.
• The surveillance tape? We see this scene twice. Why repeat it?
• What would Barney Fife do? Who is Barney Fife?

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