Monday, October 5, 2009

DANCE OF THE DEAD (2008)

ZOMBIE MOVIE SURVIAL TIP: Better make friends with that loud gun-obsessed former Army assassin crazy-as-a-shithouse-rat high school P.E. Coach down the block. You know, just in case.

THE CARD:

Undead growing pains; saved by the death bell; Zombie Kermit’s revenge; punk’s not undead; someone spiked the punch with corpse reanimation; Final Exam of the Living Dead; salvation by shitty music; and thank Sweet Zombie Jesus it’s not Twilight.

More details here.

THE ANGLE:

Cosa High School is filled with teenagers sharing the distressing experiences of the wondrous and traumatic time called adolescence. They are average high school types, from the beauty queens and cheerleaders, to the heavy metal guys and the chess geeks, to the poor kids and children of the privileged. You know – sarcastic assholes. Jimmy (Jared Kusnitz) is a geeky cool dork who’s just been dumped by his do-gooder girlfriend Lindsey (Greyson Chadwick) the day before Prom Night. Jimmy’s being forced to work his crappy pizza delivery job while Lindsey makes a date with Jimmy’s rival. Meanwhile, Jimmy’s nerdy pal Steven (Chandler Darby) pops a tent for cheerleader Gwen (Carissa Capobianco) who’s crushing for obnoxiously named rocker Nash Rambler (Blair Redford). Throw in Jimmy’s other poindexter pals trying to get laid; a lecherous science teacher; a jaded cemetery worker; an alcoholic principal, a badass gun-toting gym Coach (Mark Oliver), and half-the town’s cemetery inhabitants reawakened as voracious zombies after being contaminated by radioactive sludge from the nearby nuclear power plant and you have the makings of an epic set in a Sweet Valley in the Shadow of Death High. And no one will fucking sparkle.

THE FINISHER:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: hormone and sugar-filled teenagers make great killers. And we have ten years of tragic headlines to attest to that. So they make natural candidates to fend off the impending starved multitudes of the living dead that are waiting to pounce upon us. Friends, when the shit goes down, don’t run to the local police station or armory. Learn the fastest route to your local high, middle, and elementary schools. When you get there, make sure the little rugrats are armed and ready to start bulls-eying zombie skulls. Goddamn Playstation better have prepared them for this! Anyway, Dance of the Dead is a nifty little teen horror-comedy that borrows much of the spirit of its 80s ancestors while tossing together some modern gore effects, teen angst, and high school wackiness. Most of the blood y effects looked practical with little to no evidence of CGI which was a heartwarming welcome back. Also the zombie types referred to the classic Return of the Living Dead where reanimated corpses crawled, dug and oozed their way out of graves to ravage the living. The film delivers a lot of action and fast-paced chuckles while obviously operating on a low budget. But fortunately, the makers are not skimpy on the gore and the laughs are expertly delivered without being excessively campy. And it’s not without nice touches of characterization, specifically the fate of Steven and his unrequited love Gwen. That was a very nice scene and worthy of a wormy tear down a decaying cheekbone. Also worthy of note is Oliver as the hyperactive commando Coach Keel who kicks in his share of laughs and zombie destroying action. The movie is yet another example of how zombie movies are now fully relegated to the category of comedy, further diluting the former ferocious fear of zombies that's now replaced by playing upon viewers' insatiable lust of desecrating human bodies for guffaws. Fortunately, Dance of the Dead is harmless hilarious fun which beckons the days when you used fantasize about mowing down your classmates only so that they could reanimate so that you could mow them again.

Or was that just me?

1 comment:

Francisco Gonzalez said...

Ive been curious for this flick for a while now...gonna be watching it soon.