The Dead Undead

The Dead Undead

*

Reviewed by: David Graham

Just what the world needs now - another zombie movie. What does the world need even less? Another vampire movie. Perhaps hoping to circumvent this quandary, stuntman-turned-director Matthew R Anderson gives us both - one character succinctly explains, "We call them ZVs" - but ultimately neither element is much cop. It's sad to say, but maybe Anderson should stick to being the fall guy.

A group of vacationing youths set up camp in a deserted hotel and find themselves embroiled in a turf war between vampire defenders and infected hordes. The benevolent commando bloodsuckers have been battling to contain the spread of the disease for years, using military weaponry and stealth. The humans they are fighting to protect turn out to be a hindrance as well as a help as casualties mount on all sides...

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Early scenes are enlivened by scintillatingly naff dialogue - one girl actually asks another, "Wanna shower first?" - and hopelessly OTT performances that make the film something of a camp pleasure. The initial attack comes from a ratty mulleted child, whose flight has one of the girls emit a shriek of: "He's in the closet!" Yes, the script is that bad. The direction and blaring soundtrack are also outright embarrassing, with god-awful lighting only highlighting the pitiful make-up and costumes even more.

Top-lining Luke Goss has been so effective in the likes of Blade II and Hellboy II, playing the sort of nasties he's here relegated to dispatching, so it's a shame to see him slumming it with this dross. Maybe a Bros reunion wouldn't be such a bad career move for him after all. The rest of the cast are totally dreadful and charisma-free, and they don't even look like they're enjoying themselves. If the likes of 'Spice Williams' and 'America Young' aren't aliases, they bloody well should be.

The film becomes one long anti-climax, with pixelated blood showers and (no doubt trampoline-propelled) 'ZVs' constantly leaping into shot like they've been ejected from some crude arcade game. Goss gets to show off the swashbuckling and martial artistry skills Del Toro taught him, while some obligatory 'zombie morality' situations attempt to inject some drama into proceedings, but by that time The Dead Undead is a lost cause. Pray there's not a sequel.

Reviewed on: 03 Aug 2011
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The Dead Undead packshot
A group of youths get caught up in a war between vampires and zombies.
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