Melvin is a nerdy high school kid who is picked on by everyone- the cheerleaders, the punk rockers, and even his sister Wendy’s boyfriend. After a prank goes awry, Melvin is accidentally suffocated in the trunk of a car.
At the same time we meet Melvin, we are introduced to Norton, a nerdy college student whose life is basically identical to Melvin’s. He has a crush on Wendy, but he also gets picked on by the same punk rockers and the same boyfriend. It turns out Norton’s timeline is 3 years after the death of Melvin, and life hasn’t really changed all that much for the characters. While walking home from a party, Norton is attacked by the zombie of Melvin. He kills Melvin (for a second time), but is bitten in the process. Afterwards, Norton begins to see visions of the now twice-deceased Melvin telling him he was chosen to avenge Melvin’s life and those who made it so miserable. After initially refusing to help Melvin, Norton starts to see signs that he isn’t completely in control of his body at all times, and Melvin might just might be getting the retribution he craves.
Horror comedies are usually so hit or miss, but Melvin is definitely a hit. Even featuring a cameo from the “Godfather of Independent Schlock”, Lloyd Kaufman, this is no run-of-the-mill Troma-esque movie. Melvin has just the right amount of humor spread throughout its fast-paced 63 minute run time, but unlike most indie flicks it doesn’t skip out on the dark horror. Add to this some well-done gore and special effects, some exceptional acting from leads Patrick O’Driscoll (Norton) and Lilly Maher (Wendy) and you have a piece of indie gold. Additionally, the movie-within-a-movie “Night Of The Driller Killer” was extremely well-made and is the kind of 70’s grindhouse-era movie I absolutely adore! (I would love to see that one made into a movie all its own someday)
For fans of zombies or comedies, or just well-made indie flicks, I gotta recommend picking up a copy of Melvin; it was a pleasant surprise that I’ve already enjoyed multiple times. I’m hoping to see more from director Henry Weintraub and 531 Productions as this was a true gem amongst independent horror films.