So Bad It's Good
By Mercy Lo

Twin Cities filmmaker embraces the shaggy joy of the B-movie.

Being called Minneapolis's Ed Wood may not necessarily be the most glamorous tag for a filmmaker, but Christopher R. Mihm feels honored by the comparison. "The reality is that I am absolutely not trying to make bad movies," says Mihm. "I really want to make really good movies of a particular style."

When Mihm was little, huddling on the sofa watching those not-so-scary horror movies was a family tradition, and a bonding experience between him and his late father. Growing up with that '50s style, Mihm became fascinated with making his own movie. "When I finally got to a point where the technology was available for me to make a movie," he says, "I decided to make my first one a tribute to my dad because he had been gone for so long."

Mihm's style is firmly B-movie. While the film industry celebrates the revolution of CGI effects, Mihm adheres to his passion for making low-budget sci-fi and horror parodies. The filmmaker is wholly enamored by the naturalistic innocence of the genre—the noticeable zipper on the monster's costume, or the alien creature clad in boots. "One of the great things about these movies is that every inch of them is real," he adds. "The modern stuff doesn't have that same soul to it."

As a local independent filmmaker, Mihm has been producing steadily, making one movie a year since 2006. Instead of aspiring to break into Hollywood like your typical auteur, Mihm is satisfied with his situation. "I am perfectly happy being here, having a good time doing what I am doing, because I am realistic in my approach," he says.

Mihm is now ready to premiere his sixth production, "Attack of the Moon Zombies." Relocating the burgeoning zombie craze to the Earth's satellite, the film delves into a face-off between humans and plant monsters in space when a scientist discovers off-world life. With Mihm's vision defined by ragged glory, look out for the googly-eyed undead—rendered with unapologetically handmade weirdness.

"Attack of the Moon Zombies" opens at the Heights Theatre on Wednesday, May 25.

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