‘Dead and Deader’ is a US zombie film that was made in 2006 for the Sci-Fi Channel. It was first shown on December 16, 2006, and since then, like any good zombie, it has gone on to have subsequent resurrections and it was released on DVD in 2007, and by 2008 it even received a small theatrical release in the UK.
Movies that go ‘straight to cable TV’, well, it’s usually a sure-fire badge of shit for any film, but ‘Dead and Deader’, whilst not being good by any means, has just enough wit to keep it from being a total flop.
Dean Cain, of TV Superman fame (Lois and Clark / The New Adventures of Superman) takes the lead role here, and if you ever wondered what happened to Superman then I guess the answer is ‘not much’, like being in a cage of kryptonite he remains trapped in cable TV and can’t seem to escape.
Dean Cain definitely knows what sort of production he is in here, and he plays it up for the camera accordingly and seems to be having fun……but you also get the sense that they didn’t need to use much make-up on him to make him look and bit rough and unwell. He’s definitely past his superman prime (sorry Dean).
The film opens with Lt. Bobby Quinn (Dean Cain) leading a U.S Special Forces group into Cambodia to investigate why communications have stopped with a U.S medical center. And the news isn’t good, in films like this it is rare for a special forces squad to arrive and just find out that the generator has packed up, it is always something far more sinister. And that is what you get here – a firefight breaks out and the whole squad are seemingly wiped out (with lots of flashing images of scorpions, the reason for which is revealed later)
After an unconvincing opening (the set looks like a garden center car-park with a mist machine), things start to pick up a bit.
Lt. Bobby Quin wakes up on the autopsy table and confuses the coroner, Dr, Flutie – not just because he woke up after arriving dead the previous day in a body-bag, but also because he is still not showing any vital signs, like a heart-beat for example. Quin then experiences a sharp pain in his arm and he reaches for a scalpel and cuts a gash in his forearm that a scorpion crawls out of. Green blood splashes everywhere and then the wound heals itself…..almost like Superman, except a zombie one.
Quin then sets his mind on finding out what happened to the rest of his squad, who were all also pronounced dead when they arrived….except they are not, they are walking around the army base infecting other soldiers.
Quin then discovers that he must consume raw red meat to satisfy a raging hunger that he suffers from, and he is soon imprisoned by the base commander, who quite rightly thinks all of this is a bit weird. He breaks free and all hell breaks loose as the film basically turns into a roadtrip as Quinn attempts to evade the army and kill zombies. During the roadtrip we learn that an evil Dr Scott had originally sent in a band of mercenaries to slaughter the relief workers at the medical camp that Quinn was subsequently sent to. Anyway, these mercenaries were sent in to recover the legendary Cambodian scorpion, called a “jindu”, and the sting of this scorpion revives dead tissue and can grant everlasting life if used correctly. Dr Scott admits he is dying from cancer and wanted to recover the Jindu scorpion for his own purposes.
You’ll also find gags and one liners about many of the films that the actors here have been in the past, so listen out for pointed gags and barely hidden references to things like Superman, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Michael Jackson and more.
For a TV movie the action is pretty good, and there are some crazy scenes towards the end – especially the ending. Most of the blood and gore is green (a concession to the film’s TV roots) and is explained off as being caused by the scorpion’s bite…..that said, it flies around the screen at an alarming rate.
This won’t be in anyone’s top 10 (…or top 50) zombie films by a long-shot, but it also isn’t a total waste of your time as long as you know what you are walking into – the actors certainly did, and if you get a fraction of the fun out of this they they seem to be, then you’ll be doing ok.
Low on frights but high on fun and splatter.
Watch Dead and Deader below:
|Buy the film at Amazon.com|
|Buy the film at Amazon.co.uk|