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3.1 out of 5 stars
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3.1 out of 5 stars
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on 15 June 2011
The words "Zombie Virus on" have been added to the title of the indie horror movie "Mulberry Street" and the DVD box has been given one of those by-now standardly dishonest zombie movie covers depicting the massed bands of the undead surging forth from the backdrop of a burning city as helicopters fly overhead (for other examples of this, see the covers of "The Zombie Diaries" and "Apocalypse of the Dead"). But above and beyond trying to sell the film as a large scale apoca-romp, it must be pointed out that it isn't even a zombie movie.

Yes, there are no zombies here. There ARE swarms of infected rat mutants, achieved with varying degrees of success by the makeup department, but kept mostly to the shadows where they're most effective. however, what really rises this one up a notch or two is its attention to its characters, and the understated atmosphere of melancholy that clings to the lives of the residents of a decaying New York apartment block even BEFORE the ratpocalypse kicks off. As Manhattan is quarantined and the rat people run amok, only the thinly stretched social fabric of neighbourliness and mutual-dependency offers any chance of surviving even the first circle of this particular hell. There's a slightly clumsy attempt to rhyme the outbreak with the imminent redevelopment of the area into a big shiny gated community of the future, but the point is better made in the smaller details of the film. The neighbours are well-evoked characters and the film doesn't play favourites when it comes to who gets consumed by the horror. Also strong is the journey across the city of Casey, a soldier coming home to the apartment block, with a vivid scar on her face to attest to her previous brush with death. Starting her journey by train, she continues on foot as the world begins to end around her, then happens upon a kids' bicycle in an eerily deserted Central Park. This gets her a little closer to what she imagines will be the safety of Home, a trip she completes in an abandoned car, arriving just in time to see whatever dreams of Journey's End sustained her through wartime cruelly evaporate.

A fine movie that bravely sidesteps many of the generic conventions and doesn't chicken out at the end.
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I came to this purely as a fan of the director/writer (Jim Mickle) and his co-writer (Nick Damici). You may (or may not) know their later work - the very good We Are What We Are and Cold in July as well as the excellent Stakeland. This being an earlier collaboration, it's not quite as polished or consistent as what came after but is still a good piece of zombie type carnage.

Originally titled just Mulberry Street, the Zombie Virus has been added to the title for its release over here to dumb things down a bit, avoid brand confusion and let you know exactly what you're getting into. The film largely focuses on the eclectic residents of a run down tenement building in New York City. On a hot and steamy day, a plague of aggressive rats start munching on the locals - these bites start to have a very strange affect on the bitten. You can probably guess these affects from the aforementioned title.

It's not a knockabout, tongue in cheek zombie flick but more of a gritty, grisly, relatively cheap affair. There's the expected levels of blood and violence, the odd good jump, with a fair amount of running and screaming thrown in. Damici himself leads the cast and is good in the can-do hero role with the rest of the acting being at least solid throughout. It has a downbeat tone but a bit of heart to go with it and is a good addition to this well travelled genre.
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on 18 October 2013
OK, it's not dead-people-come-to-life, so the 'zombie' mislead could make some people angry.

Apart from that, I rather loved this film. It has real characters you can care for rather than stock teens, or everyone thirtysomething and goodlooking. That's what made it stand out for me.

Basically, in a very real and unglamorous depiction of New York, a virus turns people into mutant rat/human hybrids with a taste for human flesh. A run-down apartment block of people who actually care about each other are trapped by the monsters, while the soldier daughter of the caretaker lead is trying to get home. Lesser films would have her burst in and save the day with a load of military catch-phrases and unsmiling toughness, but this isn't a lesser film. It understands real people.

I found the build-up well-executed, with attacks around the city happening as the people in the building go about their lives, unaware. When our nucleus of people get into the action, the first death turns on its head our cliche-expectations.

In a way, this is about the love you feel when its you (plural) against the world. Mutant rats is a great metaphor for the rapacious selfishness of a big city like New York, the dog-eat-dog fear of being left behind, of not having more and more and more.

Scary and well-acted, this is a little gem of a horror film.
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on 21 January 2010
When I bought this movie I wasn't under any illusions that it would be a grade A film... with that said and with the understanding it was gonna be a budget feature.... and the fact there aren't any zombies in this movie...

The only complaint I have is that it should be called Rat Virus on Mulberry Street....

Otherwise for my money and theirs I have got to say - good camera work, good acting and well worth the few pennies it costs to buy and obviously to make.

Not a zombie film but will stay on the shelf somewhere near my Zombie collection....
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on 20 August 2015
50 minutes into it and its just "starting",rabid rats have started a zombie virus around new york and one particular block and its residents are fighting off the rats and zombies,pretty mediocre,but no horror classic,dont expect too much.
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VINE VOICEon 28 March 2012
Let's make one thing clear: this is not a zombie movie. Aggressive mutant rats bite people and infect them with a virus which turns them into highly aggressive flesh-eaters (human, cat, dog, whatever) with claws, rat-like teeth and snouts. A bit silly really but it works in the context of the film. The original title is Mulberry Street and remains so on the movie's opening credits. Nope this is just a misleading attempt to cash in on the popularity of zombies. So, if you buy this thinking you're getting a zombie movie, you'll be pleasantly surprised as this is much better than most of them.

It's set in New York over the course of around 24 hours. It begins quietly with a news report of a few people being bitten by rats in a subway station and builds slowly as more incidents happen, people get taken to hospital, bitten people start getting violent, people panic and try to get out the city, martial law is declared, the city is quarantined, and then it's night and the streets belong to the infected.

That is the background against which the human story is told. It focuses on a group of people who live in an apartment building and who are likely to be forced out by the imposition of higher rents. The core group include: two old men who live together, one of them crippled; a gay black man; an ex-boxer; his scarred daughter on her way home after being released from a veteran's hospital; a forty-something mother and her teenage son. These are ordinary working class people who look and sound like ordinary working class people. There are no busty bimbos, sex-mad teenagers, or hero types. They are just going about their normal lives as a crisis builds in the background and finally drags them in to a fight for survival. The performances by the cast are uniformly excellent and believable.

The film itself is very well structured and paced. There's an increasing use of hand held cameras and fast cutting as the pace increases, particularly during the action scenes. Unlike many horror movies, it doesn't linger over the gore of which there is plenty and I think the 18 rating is a little harsh.

In short, a silly idea is transcended by its excellent execution.
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on 1 October 2012
The film's alright but,I know it was night-time when the virus really kicks off but i would have liked it better if it wasn't so dark and the camera hung around a bit longer allowing for a better look at the rat people and maybe a bit more gore.Overall , it was ok to watch.
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on 25 July 2016
First of all, there are NO zombies in this movie. Why they changed the title I have no idea as it's simply called 'Mulberry St' in other countries.This is possibly why it took me so long to track down a copy as I was looking for the wrong title. Unfortunately the few redeeming features that this film has are lost in the mess that makes up the other 90%.There are too many characters thrown at the viewer in one go and most of them aren't particularly interesting. The film starts well story wise and you're given a lot of reasons to root for 'Clutch' the lead. The idea is sound. The effects are solid (esp for such a small budget) but by half way through you're just waiting for it to end.
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on 23 May 2009
I love a good zombie/horror movie. This film has realistic, gritty camera work which makes it seem all the more scary and real. It starts off with rats biting people and transferring a strange zombie/rat virus to most of Manhattan (I think!). Its your typical zombie flick, people oblivious to whats going on find themselves surrounded by zombies everywhere they look. I really liked how much they built up the characters, you actually ended up caring what happened to them.

My only criticisms are the ambiguous ending (wont spoil it for you) And the fact the zombies turn more and more rat like (I like your run of the mill living dead)
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The film is well made and the team clearly spent some time getting the production right. However, these kind of films really need to have action all the way through and in this respect the 'Zombie Virus' was a bit lightweight. In fact, it took so long to really get going that it almost seemed rushed at the end.

I understand the idea that if you give more background to the charcters then the viewer will feel more involved when they are being threatened but a lot of time was wasted in the first half on things that were more a social comment than relevant to the plot.

The concept is a slightly different take to the 'normal' Zombie movie. It was bit more '28 Days later' in that the Zombies were not dead people just infected with some kind of Rat virus. Fortunately the quality of the fiming is much better than '28 Days'

If you like lots of gore and don't want to concentrate too hard then this is not the film for you. However, if you are prepared to watch it through then it should entertain for the 80min running time.
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