"Dance of the Dead" DVD Review

6/28/2010 Posted by Admin

"Dance of the Dead"

DVD Review

Directed by Gregg Bishop, Written by Joe Ballarini, 97 Minutes, Rated R

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti


Zombie movies always have been a pretty effective way for independent filmmakers to break out. Zack Snyder, Edgar Wright and, of course, the king of zombie films, George A. Romero, all hit it big with their respective zombie hits. They're easy to pull off and it's a quick way to display talent in action, horror, and in most cases these days, comedy.

"Dance of the Dead" is a little independent horror flick in that tradition--sort of a mix of teen comedies and "Shaun of the Dead." The film follows a group of various individuals in a small Georgia town on the night of the high school's prom. The local power plant has been accidentally releasing mysterious goo into the town's sewage system and it's bringing the dead back to life as, you know, brain-munching monsters.

Our main players are Sci-Fi nerds Steven and Jules, pizza deliveryman Jimmy, his girlfriend and prom organizer Lindsey, their gym teacher Coach Keel, the psychotic hick Kyle, and Nash Rambler, the lead singer of a band that discovers music stops the zombies from attacking.

The cast is mostly made up of unknowns and Georgia amateurs brought on for their natural talents. Horror veteran Justin Welborn and voice actor Mark Oliver give the two best performances as Kyle and Keel, the more over-the-top characters who get a good deal of the laughs.

It's a charming little film, and it's got pretty much everything you look for in a zombie movie--disgusting and inventive zombie killing, a wealth of obnoxious but oddly likable characters, goofy social commentary, and plenty of laughs. The direction is pretty solid and assured, as is the acting.

Where the film' is lacking is in originality. Putting zombie and teen movies together was an interesting idea, but it doesn't really work past the basic concept, and the characters are so over-the-top that they hardly seem like characters in a teen movie anyway. The comedy isn't much to brag about. There are some good belly laughs here and there, but the typical nerd jokes and gross-out gags get really old really fast.

Basically, the film adds very little to the genre, unlike "Shaun of the Dead" or the criminally underseen recent zombie-esque film, "The Signal" (which also stars Justin Welborn), and it's not really charming enough to entertain for the whole runtime. It's a nice passable bit of fun, but there are better films out there for fans of the genre. That said, this is definitely a film I can see getting a huge following in the coming years just for its unique genre mixing. It'll really appeal to the high school crowd.

Grade: C-

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3 comments:

  1. Hrushi said...

    Actors look good, though C- would be a little disgusting....
    --Hrushikesh Ghatpande.
    facebook.com/thehrushi

  2. Anonymous said...

    C-?

    You're crazy. More like A-.

    It actually added quite a bit to the genre. 4 words:

    ZOMBIES. LAUNCH. FROM. GRAVES.

  3. Edward29 said...

    I rented this months ago on netflix.
    There were no good movies I wanted to see at the time and gave it a try.
    It is more like a teen comedy that spoofs Night of the Living Dead and does a horrible job.
    It's total nonsense.
    Like the other commenter said there is a scene where the zombies launch 10 feet out of their graves then began to slowly shuffle about.
    Only reason to watch this if your into zombie flicks and nothing else is on TV.