Movie Review: The Dead Undead (2010)

September 27, 2012

There is no shortage of zombie or vampire movies in the world, for better or for worse. I don’t have actual data, but I’d wager that zombie and vampire flicks churn out faster than sequels and remakes. The cycle is kind of ridiculous. The Dead Undead happens to feature zombie vampires. Depending on who you are, you might view that combination as original, or you disagree with math and a double negative results in a super negative. Take your pick.

Getting right into this, The Dead Undead has such a poor narrative that it’s tough to write a coherent synopsis for it… Fortunately it never hurts to try. Five friends stumble into an abandoned motel looking for a place to sleep, but are instead greeted by a horde of vampire-zombie hybrids! Fortunately a group of people wielding swords, guns, and explosives turn up to save the evening; although there might be more to them than meets the eye. Written by Edward Conna and co-directed by Matthew R. Anderson and Conna, I’m about to give this movie way too much credit.

The biggest thing that The Dead Undead has going for it is its vaguely recognizable cast of young looking 30 year olds, stuntmen, and Luke Goss. Next to every character in the beginning is irritating, but as time progresses and the cavalry turns up to hack and slash and blow up zombie vampires — to hard rock riffs no less — the irritation recedes. The zombie vampire hunters are genuinely likeable and they’re written well, which I honestly didn’t expect. So it’s unfortunate that the story which they’re written into is basically horrible.

The plot is incoherent for the first half of the movie, which relies heavily on gunfire and explosions to retain the viewers’ attention. Unfortunately the screenplay is so poorly written that the action serves only as a vague distraction. The best thing that I can say, I think, is that The Dead Undead isn’t drawn out at all. The movie starts, we receive a very brief introduction to the five kids, and boom, zombie vampires and gunfire. Wastes no time, gives no effs.

Above I mentioned that much of the cast, particularly the zombie vampire hunters, is made up of vaguely familiar stuntmen. If you’re a geek, you might recognize Spice Williams, Luke LaFontaine, and the writer-directors of The Dead Undead themselves, Edward Conna and Matthew R. Anderson. I always love seeing people who typically work as stuntmen land roles where they can be in the spotlight. It seems so well-deserved as the work they do can be dangerous, but the delicate flower actors always take the credit in the public eye. Being stuntman themselves, maybe the decision to hire other stuntmen for the zombie vampire hunting roles was deliberate. In that case, kudos.

Again, I think that they all did very well as far as acting goes. Their characters are believable, likeable, somewhat relatable, played well, and topped off with Luke Goss as their hardcore leader. It’s really a shame that they are placed in such a terrible, incoherent story. By the way, if you’re wondering, I’d like to express why it’s incoherent, but I can’t without issuing spoilers. You’ll have to take my word for it.

By the end of The Dead Undead I can definitely say that it wasn’t a waste of my time. After the incoherency ends halfway through the movie, it becomes an explicitly fun hack and slash affair, which I dig. However there are a lot of better bad movies to spend your time on; I really want to genuinely like this, but I can’t say that I do. If you’re interested for whatever reason, as of this writing The Dead Undead is available for viewing on Netflix USA.

By the way, I’d like to say thanks to Bernardo Villela one more time for stepping in to write an article for this blog when I was sick two days ago. Unfortunately my illness carried on into yesterday and I didn’t seek a guest writer, and for that I’m sorry. To make it up to you I will be publishing a second article today.

Thanks all.

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