Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Days of Halloween Redux: Dance of the Dead

2008, Gregg Bishop -- Netflix

Zombies seem to have two places in movies, one is as a terrifying unrelenting force and the other is as a comedic antagonist not the least terrifying.  You can probably break it down to the zombies that ask to eat your brains and those that don't do much other than moan while they rip you to pieces.  Strangely enough, the brain eaters also seem to generally get created by toxic waste, normally a green oozing stuff that comes from labs or nuclear facilities, while the moaners normally don't have much of an explanation, while ambiguous viruses are commonly used.

Dance of the Dead is a much loved indie flick of the comedic type.  Yep, right down to the oozing green stuff, these guys are not so much terrifying as they are a vehicle for a bunch of townsfolk to be converted into antagonists for the heroic teens.  This is Mary Sue land where geeky kids rise above their pariah status to save (what's left of) the town. The local steaming nuclear plant is oozing its green residue into the water supply and the effect waits until the night of the big prom to take hold.  Strangely enough its not so much that the ooze affects the people drinking the water, as it does wake up the dead in the local graveyard (literally being spring-boarded back to life) which in turn infect the rest of the town. But the movie was not so much concerned with logic or continuity as it was laughs and low budget monster effects.

I said much loved, and a Google of the movie will reveal that is ran through all the horror film fests before getting some tiny LA theatre release and then straight to DVD.  It seemed to have been loved at them, but I will say that in having attended a lot of those fests, they are pretty forgiving.  The horror fests are often as much about having a good time as they are showing good movies.  So entertaining will make up for schlock.  This fit that bill, being mildly amusing, decently shot and with OK acting.  Its more about the fun of making a zombie movie than it is about adding a serious entry into the genre.