Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dance of the Dead

Not to be confused with Tobe Hooper's lame entry into the Masters of Horror series. . .

Genre - Horror/Comedy
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 95 minutes
Directed by Gregg Bishop (who also directed the USC short film Voodoo, which is included on the DVD)
Written by Joe Ballarini
Cast Includes:
Jared Kusnitz (who is also in Otis) as Jimmy
Greyson Chadwick as Lindsey
Chandler Darloy as Steven
Carissa Capobianco as Gwen
Justin Welborn (who is also in The Signal and the upcoming Final Destination 4: Death Trip 3-D) as Kyle
Randy McDowell as Jules
Michael V Mammoliti as George
Blair Redford [who for some strange reason reminded me of a young Johnny Depp] as Nash
Mark Oliver as the Coach
James Jarrett as the Cemetery Worker

Rating: 5 Skulls

Plot Summary:
Filled with geekdom and gore, this tongue-in-cheek teen creature feature centers on a highschool prom at which the living dead await a crowd of unsuspecting students. Unfortunately for the promgoers, the only ones who can save them from the zombies are the losers who couldn't even get a prom date in the first place.

Can the vastly different cliques band together long enough to defeat the living dead?

This is the first Ghost House Pictures' film that I've seen, and I'm impressed. If the rest are even half as good as this one, then I will be watching them all.

I first read a review of this one over at http://fred-the-wolf.blogspot.com/ where Fred [[the Wolf] rated the film 3-out-of-4. Now, Fred and I see eye-to-eye on a lot of films, so I immediately added it to my Netflix Queue where it's been sitting for a little while now. The other day, I came across another review - this one written by Stac over at http://creepykitch.blogspot.com/ - Stac really raved about this film [so much so that she wants to marry it!] ;-) So, I immediately bumped it up to the top of my Netflix Queue and here we are. . .

From the very start of this film, you know that you are going to be in for a fun time!
[it is somewhat in the vein of Return of the Living Dead]

In the beginning of the film, we witness a cemetery worker casually dismembering the dead as they attempt to rise from their graves, which are located in a cemetery on the outskirts of a nuclear power plant [alluded to as the possible source of the zombie scourge] Meanwhile, the local highschool is preparing for their prom. . .

What I really loved about this film was the writing - very humorous [for instance, just wait until you see where some of the students lock themselves in, while hiding out] Also, each of the characters were very well written - they each had their own personalities and each were well acted out [one of my favorite lines was from the blonde cheerleader - while getting "suited up" to battle the zombies, she declared that she "didn't know how to shoot a machete"] :-)

My favorite characters were Kyle [who reminded me of one of my best friends in highschool] and the ex-military highschool coach. While I loved these characters, they are all really very good.

As for the zombies - well, Stac [from Creepy Kitch] put it best when she said that they are pretty much literally catapulted out from their graves - landing at a full run. . . fun times! :-)

This is a fantastic, fast-paced, and very fun/funny zombie flick - highly recommended!

Here's the trailer:

Also, be sure to watch the short film Voodoo, included on the DVD - it is 5 minutes of hilarity!


P.S. Has anyone out there seen any of the other Ghost House Pictures' productions?
[this one had trailers for The Substitute - which looks great - as well as Dark Floors and The Last House in the Woods]
Let me know if you have any recommendations - they will be appreciated! :-)


iMike said...

I'll look into this, it sounds like a blast!!

Wings said...

Never heard of this movie. Gonna go add it to my queue now. Thanks for the heads up, Jason!

thebonebreaker said...

Mike, it is a Blast! :-)

Wings, I had heard of the film, but just figured it was just [yet] another zombie film - until I read Fred's review - however, this one is a well above average zombie flick!


Gore-Gore Girl said...

Goddamn, I love this movie - easily in my top ten zombie flicks. You're absolutely right about the writing, and the immediate enjoyment - it's so refreshing to just have the characters immediately understand their situation and fight back. I was able to sit back and enjoy, instead of getting increasingly anxious and irritated as to why they aren't picking up the freakin weapons...

Another thing I loved was the endless chain of movie references - I lost count of how many Aliens references there were - scenes choreographed perfectly to match. Sweet!

As for the other movies you mentioned, I saw The Substitute (if you go into it expecting a kid's horror movie, in a loose sense, then you won't be disappointed); Dark Floors is not as good, but I like elaborate costumes, so that was fun. Room 205 is ok, not great, but ok.

In short, none of the other movies from the series (of the ones I've seen) come even *close* to being as good as Dance of the Dead.

thebonebreaker said...

Gore-Gore Girl,

Glad to hear that you loved this one as much as I did!

This is definitely one for the collection - I am already looking forward to a re-watch to catch all of the other movie references :-)

As for the others - thanks for the heads up! [I'll keep them on the back burner, for now]


trench said...

Similar to the fun I got out of SHAWN of the DEAD?

thebonebreaker said...


Absolutely! :-)


the jaded viewer said...

Dance of the Dead sits nicely at #8 on my top 10 horror movies of 2008

It was like Buffy but with zombies.

Great review. Good times.

thebonebreaker said...

Awesome JV!

Buffy with zombies ~ a Perfect way to put it! :-)