Short Film Review “The Last Taxi Driver”



First, the Recap:

Well, folks, it’s the end of the world as we know it. Once again, an apocalyptic circumstance has run its course, chaos has ensued, and life is now greatly reduced in our great country, and probably the world, to the point where human beings make up a very small percentage of the population. So, what do you do as one of the few remaining survivors? Oh, yeah–you drive a cab! It’s almost thirty days since zombies ravaged the country, President Picone (Vincent Ticali) has declared the State of Emergency, and all seems bleak–except for one Dorman O’Mearain (Robert Clohessy), the last taxi driver.

Making the rather overconfident yet stalwart choice that nothing shall interrupt his beloved profession, Dorman keeps his head down and, in relative safety, awaits calls for taxi service whilst avoiding being eaten, otherwise laying the beat down on zombie oppressors. Of course, over time, with the undead showing they apparently maintain a certain sense of humor even in their state of being, Dorman’s frustration mounts. In an increasingly lonely state, one cab fare named Sibyl (Deborah Twiss) doesn’t exactly appreciate his rather crass, up front innuendos. But, upon picking up a second customer, Violet (Emily Jackson), it becomes all too clear that other forces had devious plans in store for poor Dorman.

Next, my Mind:

Anyone who has followed my reviewing to date knows overall that I am not a horror fan, much less the zombie genre in total, unless someone has truly accomplished something unique or humorous with it.  Well, it is safe to say that this 14-minute effort from writer/director/co-producer Debra Markowitz certainly fits that bill in both ways, delivering a narrative that puts an ultimately hilarious twist on human survival and the unexpected ingenuity of the undead. Fortunately choosing to not go for any form of gore fest but rather opting for the more witty, tongue-in-cheek facets of the proceedings, everything moves along with solid pacing, well-shot visuals, and jocular intent as the viewer follows this discontented soul through his daily monotony until an unplanned hand of fate steps into the cab.

Clohessy very much embodies the kind of taxi driver no one really wants to end up with in his role as Dorman, a totally exasperated and quite indignant cabbie who, even though attempting to salvage any sense of how the world used to be prior to its zombification, still just cannot seem to get past his less than amiable nature and growing vexation over it all. As his loneliness and unspoken need for human contact begins to wear him down, it only seems inevitable the tables would end up being turned on him potentially by the very customers he’s sworn to serve. Watching Clohessy manage his way through such a doggedly stubborn, albeit well-meaning(?), character and the associated insanity he gets himself involved in is a total stitch and very entertaining to witness, much to Clohessy’s credit.

Supporting turns run aplenty here, primarily in the form of Ticali as the nation’s President who’s at least around long enough to warn everyone to stay indoors, Twiss as Dorman’s initial cab fare Sibyl who decides she’s had more than enough of his leering, and Jackson as a second fare named Violet who ends up being part of a totally unexpected turn in the tale. Other supporting roles from a myriad of actors including Justin Picone, Noelle Yatauro, Cheryl Martin, and Regina Hardy are who make up the wonderfully pleasant and creepy new denizens of the U.S.A. and world.

In total, “The Last Taxi Driver” presents that clever take on the whole idea of zombies and those few humans who’ve currently weathered the storm, but then infuses it with additionally savvy, dare I say biting, wit with a shrewd finale that should perhaps teach us all a little bit more about not just doing everything possible to avoid the zombie apocalypse, but about human nature as well.

As always this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

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