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THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN (2006)
Directed by Charles E. Cullen
Written by Charles E. Cullen
Starring Charles E. Cullen, David Hawkins, Kenny Hicks, Janet Lubas, Bill Miller
Find out more about this film here, @CullenStudios, and on Facebook here
Made in 2006, long before the incendiary events in Charlottesville this year and the current acidic political climate in America, Charles E. Cullen took on the debate about the Confederate flag in a no budget horror film called THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN. The results are interesting, especially when viewed today.
The story of THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN is told by an Uncle Remus like character to a pair of African American kids as a sort of cautionary tale. When a politician calls for any representation of the Confederate flag be declared illegal and destroyed, the bodies of dead Confederate soldiers rise to walk and chomp on anyone in their path. The government tries to step in and take out the zombies, but one zombie, wearing shiny pink pants for some reason, makes his way to the politician calling for the ban to give him a bit of Southern hospitality.
When I call this film no budget, I mean it. Save some CG gunfire and some white face paint, this is something Cullen did with a camera and one or two actors playing different roles throughout the movie. The dialog is less stilted and more like listening to a six year old read a story aloud. There is little blood, but what we do get is some kind of brown, dotty, and crude animation. And the story basically follows that pink trousers wearing zombie as he sllllllloooooowwwwwlllly makes his way through a building, down a stairwell, through a hallway, and to the desk of the politician who started it all, which is going to test the patience of even the most kind viewer.
But the debate about the flag is something that makes this film at least somewhat interesting. This film was made ten years ago and while it might feel ludicrous to say that it was a more innocent time, I think it’s an accurate description. Basically, this film is saying that taking down and dishonoring the Confederate flag disrespects soldiers who died fighting for what they believe in. I can kind of see where its coming from, though being a Northerner all my life and one opposed to slavery of any kind, seeing this sympathy for the Confederate flag still gave me a creepy feeling. Still, I’m not one to put on my earmuffs and not listen to a debate that makes me creepy, which I guess makes me a relic in this day and age as well. THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN is a weird little no budgeter. But while very little went into the budget, it feels like there’s some passion in the film and a lot of thought behind it. I’m sure a discussion held after the film would be more interesting than the film itself, but the fact that THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN may inspire that says something about it.