Horror Review: [[[Dance of the Dead]]]
Dance of the Dead Synopsis
On the night of the big high school prom, the dead rise to eat the living, and the only people who can stop them are the losers who couldn’t get dates to the dance. Filled with a plethora of high school stereotypes, the group takes on a town for of brain hungry zombies and vow to save what’s left of the town from the adjacent power plant that seems to be the cause of the recent resurrections.
Those in the mood for a great zombie flick should pick this one up. Other critics have been quoted saying this film “makes [[[Carrie]]] look like [[[Pretty in Pink]]]”, though if you were to truly classify it, it’s much more like [[[Shaun of the Dead]]] meets [[[Breakfast Club]]]. Any fan of film who has seen dozens upon dozens of zombie movies knows the feeling of “how much ass they would kick if zombies were real”. Well, this movie does it for you, bringing out the Sci-Fi nerd in all of us as a group of high school freaks and geeks take on a town full of zombies.
The group is filled with just about everybody you would need in a zombie uprising: the Jackass-style bad boy, the heroic yet sassy wiseass, the ditzy cheerleader, the know-it-all class president, the stoner rock band, the militant gym teacher, and of course the pack of nerds. Each member has their fifteen minutes as a hero, and then dies off or becomes second banana to the main love story between the wiseass and the class president. That’s right: the zombie comedy has a romantic twist, and you’ll enjoy it.
The actors in the film do a pretty good job of playing the high school outcasts. Though there are a few “[[]] moments” where a few supposed teens look to be in their late twenties or early thirties rather than high school ages, but they all play their parts well. There were a few moments when the wiseass of the group was doing his schtick, and didn’t come across as very funny, but he was the hero, so we let it slide. The hardest thing is trying not to think of the preexisting characters that a few of the nerds are trying to portray. One actor feels like he watched [[[Napoleon Dynamite]]] a few dozen times before squeezing into his role, and it only distracts from the zombie kickassery.
Though the movie takes itself about as serious as anything produced by Troma in the last 30 years, there is a bit of story inconsistency throughout the film. Strictly looking at this like a zombie movie, the fact that certain zombies are the infamously slow-moving Romero creatures, while others are literally jumping from the grave and chasing down teens is a bit hard to swallow. At least in Shaun, all zombies were lurching monsters, which they used to their advantage. Outside of this, the movie is loads of fun to enjoy.
The camp factor is just off the charts for this film, which, thankfully, is what they were going for. Fans of the genre get everything from zombies driving cars, to a zombie sex scene, and even the ever loved line “BRAAINS!” Of course, the most important rule taken from the film is that zombies are intoxicated by rock music. That’s right, next time you are plagued by zombies, just throw on some Zeppelin and you can waltz right out of danger. This film has got “cult classic” written on it from the get-go. This is the kind of movie that friends in a dorm room will gather around and enjoy years from now, which could be a good or a bad thing.
The special effects are on the better side of most other flicks in the genre. There’s lots of ripped flesh, and some nice effects with eyes going cloudy. Probably the most expensive scene is in a graveyard when the undead literally leap out of the graves. This was pretty well done, and the movie as a whole doesn’t skimp on any of the effects or attempt things that are outside of the budget.
This movie is certainly worth a watch, and probably worth buying if you are a fan of the genre. I expect good things to come out of this team after this, and if the end of the film is any indicator, that could be very possible. You may not be scared more than once or twice, but you will laugh out loud in the times you didn’t.
Scare Factor: 3/5
Overall Rating: 8/10