Sunday, January 6, 2013

Horror Film Review

The Dead Undead (2010):  Look at the movie poster.  Now ask me if any part of that awesomeness is actually in the film.  I don't understand why movie companies can't be sued for false advertising when they pull this crap, which, ironically, is exactly what this film is...crap.  But you may say, it's vampires versus zombies.  Surely it can't be a total suckfest.  Oh, yes; indeed it can.  And don't call me Surely. 

It starts as most horror flicks start, with five young men and women stranded in the woods.  There's a seemingly abandoned motel and a lake.  Within five minutes we have bikini-clad babes frolicking in the scummy lake water.  Sigh.  Minutes after that, back in their room, the first zombie appears.  Four guys and a woman, all para-military types toting heavy weapons and swords show up out of nowhere to save the day.  They fail.  One of the young women is the only survivor out of the five kids.  The rest of the film is nothing but a series of silly firefights and amateurish swordplay.  Most of the scenes are like this:  a zombie runs at them, we see an entire M-16 clip emptied into it, the shooter complains they're low on ammo, then another zombie and another clip is emptied.  I swear it's the most boring thing I've ever seen.

Now for the real silliness.  Those para-military guys are actually vampires who, inexplicably, can be turned into zombies as easily as humans.  They have no special vampire powers, hence all the guns and explosives.  Via painfully dull flashbacks, we're shown how each became a blood sucker.  They tried to infuse an element of Highlander into it.  Doesn't help.  In fact, not to put too fine a point on it, these flashbacks are eye-rollingly bad.  As for the zombies...they run and jump and aren't killed by bullets to the head.  So not really zombies at all, I guess.  How did they become zombies?  Dunno.  Why are there so many of them in the middle of nowhere?  Dunno.  Will you care?  Hell, no.


Acting:  Universally poopy.  Here's what I don't understand about actors...usually they go to acting school before trying their hand at practicing the craft, or at the very least, they'll do some summer stock, right?  So how, when they're finally cast in a feature film, they suddenly forget how to act?  It baffles me. 
Story:  The same applies to writers.  So precious little in this movie makes sense that I'd be willing to wager they just made it up as they went along.  Why bother with the kids at all if you kill them off in the first few minutes?  Why make the para-military folks vampires if they don't act like vampires?  Why call them zombies when they're diseased parkour cannibals?  The writers tried to reinvent the wheel and failed spectacularly.
Direction:  The same applies to directors.  The slow motion shots are painful to watch.  The action is disjointed at best, the set pieces pedestrian.  No imagination.
Production Values:  When I found out what the budget was, my jaw literally dropped in disbelief.  Over one million dollars.  What the hell did they spend it on?  I've reviewed films made for one-tenth that amount that were ten times better.  Anyway, they did use film not tape, and its lighting and sound are all right.  My guess is that the majority of the budget went to the guns and ammo.  Which would be fine if those shoot 'em up scenes weren't so lame.
Gore/FX:  There's a fair amount of blood and related viscera.  Nothing to get excited about, though.  They used CGI for the blood-spraying head shots...and used it badly.  They must have run out of money before post-production.
Scares:  There is one, actually.  Could have knocked me over with a feather.
Ending:  Sound idea, poor execution.  And they tried to leave it open for a sequel.  That took balls.
Verdict:  Should you watch The Dead Undead?  Masochists may enjoy it.  Can't imagine anyone else would.  Go watch Stakeland or The Evil Dead instead.

Rating:  1 out of 5

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