Thursday, June 7, 2012

ZomBlog Review: "The Dead"

“The Dead”
Stars: Rob Freeman, Prince David Oseia, Dan Morgan, Glenn Salvage and David Dontoh
Dir: Howard and Jonathan Ford
105 minutes

It is always refreshing to see a movie with originality, be it zombie-based or not.
I could easily gush over “The Dead,” but I will refrain.
For now.
“The Dead” is a stone-cold stand out in this era of zombie-fueled retreads, wannabes, and remakes.
Lt. Brian Murphy wants nothing else than to get home. His desire is spoiled by an unfortunate plane crash off of the West Coast of Africa. Huddling and using them as a flotation device, he finds a crate of supplies, washes ashore, and immediately starts looking for ways to get away. Once on the beach, he seems feeble and helpless, but an approaching horde of slow-walking zombies kicks him into action. He gathers his needed supplies and races into the jungle. He is an engineer, a fixer. He certainly is not a fighter, although he certainly is a veritable foe for the (unexplained) zombie counterparts. He finds a ride in a crappy old truck, fixes the seemingly obvious problems with it, and heads down a road, the destination not fully formed in his head. He finds himself stuck in the road and a savior in the form of an African soldier (Oseia) appears; Murphy is then reluctant to move forward without help. And he does not, as the soldier also recognizes safety in numbers.
And, there, my friends, is just the first few moments of a movie which could have dragged on. Except, it did not: It very evenly fell into the three-act personification. And it was certainly better for it.
To say any more would be to ruin it. The characters are set in stone: Murphy wants out; His military friend wants to find his son; They form an uneasy alliance in order to complete those duties.
It is a buddy-cop zombie movie on the surface. But, wait. There is more.
“The Dead” is taken so seriously, I was nervous to laugh at certain scenes. It is an intense film. Very, very intense. Be prepared.

Romero Rules Followed: Fully applied. These are the blueprints of Mr. Romero’s zombies.
Gore factor: Very, very gory. The zombies waste no time or effort in ripping apart their prey.
Zombies or Wannabees? Zombies
Classic, fine, or waste of time: Classic
Additional comments: While I tend to gush over solid entries into this genre, I really wanted something made recently such as this to show me the genre still had life. Betwixt this and “The Horde,” I feel the future of the zombie genre lies across the ocean.
Prove me wrong, America. Prove me wrong.