Saturday, February 11, 2012

FILM REVIEW: The Dead (2010)


The zombie film is becoming old. I mean...what more can you do with the genre? What more can you say? The Ford brothers answer those questions with an entertaining entry into the subgenre.

The Dead  was supposed to come out two years ago. Then...it was supposed to come out last year. Now...it will come out on DVD February 14th. Was it worth the wait? Umm...not really. But, it is a good film.

The premise is a cool one. During an evacuation attempt, American Air Force engineer Brian Murphy (Rob Freeman) crash lands just off the coast of Africa where he quickly discovers that the dark continent has been taken over by flesh eating zombies. He soon meets up with Sgt. Daniel Dembele (Prince David Oseia), who has problems of his own. You see, Daniel's son has been taken to a refuge camp and his mom is now a zombie. Both, Brian and Daniel team up to find his son and a way out of this zombie-infested land. Crazy...huh? Actually...come to think of it. The premise kind of sounds like the one from the recent film...The Grey. I presented an argument that sometimes you can just replace a few elements here and there and voila! You have yourself a traditional horror film. A plane crash into hostile territory with harsh weather...in this case you have the hot sun of Africa. And instead of the dreaded man-eating wolves...you have dreaded man-eating zombies. See? It's all sort of the same...but, not really.


For the most part, the film works as a straight up zombie horror. It takes the original slow-moving Romero zombie and creates a sense of dread throughout the entire running time. The chemistry between the two main characters is pretty solid and almost makes you feel like you're watching a buddy film. The scenery is beautiful as the film was all shot on-location and the gore is mostly practical FX, which is pretty cool.

The only real complaints I had with the film had to do with both the premise and the bone-headed decisions that the characters made. I won't discuss the bone-headed decisions that the characters made in detail, because, well...that would spoil some of the film for you. But, I will say...WHAT IN THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING NAPPING IN A FUCKING ZOMBIE-INFESTED AFRICAN JUNGLE WITH FUCKING CANS STRINGED TOGETHER AS ZOMBIE ALARMS??!!


Sorry...had to let that out. As for the premise complaints. I kind of wish that the filmmakers had taken advantage of the untamed environment they were in and brought in some wild animals to further add to the dread that was going on all around. I mean...this is Africa and lions and tigers live there and stuff. So, I would expect to see a goddamn puma jump out somewhere. However, nothing. No wildlife, what-so-ever. Not one fucking ostrich running from a zombie. There were chickens...but, that was all. Also, it got a little comedic to see our heroes driving around in an old busted pick-up while zombies were wandering around. It almost brought me into a The Gods Must Be Crazy  movie. Except...with zombies. Almost.

But, still...I appreciate the fact that this was Howard and Jonathan Ford's first real attempt at a horror film. And I like the low-budget look to the entire thing. While the film gets a bit repetitive throughout its 105 minutes, I liked the acting...mostly from Prince David Oseia. His acting felt more organic and much more believable. Rob Freeman just seemed like a white dude that was dropped into a zombie-infested Africa. I liked him...just felt that Oseia brought more to his role.

The Dead  is a good horror film that touches upon some social commentary but, mostly sticks to the horror themes. While it could have been a much more powerful film had they injected more of the humans being hostile to each other stuff, it is still an entertaining film in its own right. Sometimes, you just don't wanna bother with all that deep social issue stuff. Check it out on DVD.




Thanks for reading,

bryan.

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