Writing reviews for this site causes me to watch a bunch of really bad movies. I mean the kind of schlock that the pixels of my computer manifest into moving images can range from the kind of so-bad-its-good movies like Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) to the kind of terrible, awful, pitiful if it weren’t so obviously a cash grab movies like Teenage Zombies (1959).
But every once in awhile you will come across the kind of perfect little gem of a genre movie – gripping, bloody, but not perfect, which is almost better than if it were seamless – that makes everything about this palatable and worth doing. The Dead is that film.
Brian (Rob Freeman) is an American and the sole survivor of a plane crash in West Africa who teams up with Daniel (Prince David Osei), an African soldier searching for his son, to try and help each other to mutual ends as they fight off hordes of people who have been infected by some disease and turned into zombies.
And when I say zombies, I mean pure, lumbering, untiring zombies. These are some old school motherfuckers who are out to get you not because they are malicious but because your death at their hands is inevitable.
This leads to some of the better zombie scenes of the past few years, like when Brian is hurriedly trying to unlock a crate filled with weapons while a dozen or so zombies slowly converge on his location. Watching slow zombies come at a pair of men in the deserts of Africa is a perfect kind of tension, because the zombies become just another overbearing element of nature that is trying to takeout our protagonists as they try and find their families and get home.
Having the movie set mostly in the desert helps to liven up the genre as well, as The Dead is shot in gorgeous yellows and reds and oranges, which serve as nice splashes of color to add to the tortured experiences of the main characters. These colors also break from the dreadful pattern of washed out and bleak color pallets that seem to have befallen every other zombie genre film released over the past couple of years.
Combine the return to traditional zombie mechanics and the great pairing of Freeman and Osei and the novel setting and you get a wonderful and enthralling zombie picture that deserves to be playing midnights for the rest of eternity.
The Dead is not a movie for the faint of heart: The is a movie for the true genre and gore hound who wants something that knows when to respect tradition and knows when to become its own beast.
Watch the trailer for ‘The Dead‘:
|Buy the film at Amazon.com|
|Buy the film at Amazon.co.uk|
Written by: JJ Perkins