5.29.2011

Dance of the Dead (2008): I Love Catapulting Zombies



It took me a while to get to this one. I let this flick slowly work its way up on the Netflix queue, believing it to be just another ZomCom. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this low-budget film with lots of energy, just enough gore, and many laughs.

Dance of the Dead begins like any high school movie, introducing us to an array of teens getting ready for the prom, some cool and some not. Our hero is the jokester, who can't take anything seriously but happens to be dating the girl who takes her school career very seriously. After sitting though amusing drama and archetypal-yet-truthful coed behavior, we finally get to the meat of the story. A nearby power plant has leaked a green substance that turns the inhabitants of the local cemetery into the walking dead.

And they're off...

And that's where the catapulting zombies come in. The funniest moment of the entire movie is when the zombies are literally launched from the graves, only to land on their feet in mid-sprint. Pure genius. My husband and I almost died laughing.

The remainder of the film follows around an eclectic group of kids, who must fight their way to the city to reach the school's gymnasium where the prom is being held. It was rather refreshing to see a zombie movie where the goal was not to hunker down and survive, but rather to kick zombie ass and rescue the entire town.
 
The sunken eyes really emphasize the mini mohawk. 

Also refreshing? The fast editing, snappy style, and fun characters. This film didn't really on witty dialogue and brilliantly-lit scenes. Instead, we had well-drawn characters to follow through situational humor and old-fashioned zombie action. Sure, the cinematography wasn't top notch, but the shots were well designed and effective. The acting may have had its ups and downs, but the characters were too likeable for it to matter. The filmmakers focused on delivering a tightly-paced zombie movie, with only the smallest breaks for comedic interludes.

If only prom pictures were this cool...

As much as I love the introspective foreign films and edgy indie movies, this is the type of show that gets me excited about low-budget filmmaking. It is the type of movie I can see myself making. While it is difficult to explain, some movies just have a spirit about them that others are missing. During a recent slump in horror movies, this is just the pick-me-up I needed. If you've waited a couple years to see this one like me, don't wait any longer. 

5 comments:

  1. I must confess, I did struggle with this zombie film. There was just this predictable air about the entire film that I eventually found quite tiresome. I did think the concept had potential, but it was just fumbled in execution.

    Still, at least someone enjoyed it!

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  2. Cool. You just sold me on this one....
    I shall queue it right away.

    Thanks!

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  3. I really enjoyed Dance of the Dead, too. One thing that I really liked about it was that it took an approach that sort of lampooned the teen film and television drama, even going as far as to emulate the techniques used in shows like, for example, Degrassi.

    It's a lot of fun, and I love that there is enough humanity brought to the characters and the humor is spot on, but never too heavy handed. Glad to hear you dug on it.

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  4. Saw this one a couple years back and liked it. My favorite part was when the dude who was crushing on the cute chick throughout the film finally hooks up only to get bitten as she fully transforms. Then they become a cute little zombie couple. Haha. It's the off-the-wall intricacies like this scene that made me like this one so much. And I thought I was going to hate it.

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  5. Boring boring boring that some up this wanna be horror/comedy.

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