Well, it’s been a while since the last review here. But hey-ho, lets just crack on ignore that brief patch of unabashed laziness with a review of a brand-new movie: DeadHeads.
Showing at the 2011 FrightFest film festival in London (the UK Premiere no less with cast and crew in attendance) DeadHeads was one of the last movies to be shown over the whole five-day festival. Due to having watched around 25 movies in the four days preceding this showing – and several vats of wine having been drunk over this period – there may have been a slight incident of ‘snooze’ involving your reviewer here for about 10 minutes half-way into the film. This was particularly annoying as this was the only zombie movie of the whole festival (unless you count the special live director-commentary showing of the fantastic The Dead – a film that was originally at FrightFest last year).
However, the momentary lapse in consciousness shouldn’t be attributed to the film itself; more of that to come (this is a review, after all). It’s much more likely that it’s down to staying out too late the previous night drinking too much red-wine – which may have been an influencing factor for drunkenly babbling at directors Ti West and Joe Lynch who had frequented the FrightFest-approved bar that night (no idea what was involved in this drunken babbling; hopefully it was all complementary though as both guys have made some truly great movies – West’s INNKEEPERS from the same festival being a particular highlight, despite being mostly un-zombie in nature).
Anyway, back to the matter in hand. The lost 10 minutes aside, DeadHeads was a genuinely fun and enjoyable zombie comedy that truly had the audience laughing out loud; something that has been particularly hard to achieve in recent years (Wasting Away, we’re looking at you!).
Starting out with a young chap waking up to find he’s a sentient (and none-to-happy about it) zombie, DeadHeads follows this dude as he sets out across the country to find – and declare his everlasting love – to his would-be fiancée. Yup, it’s basically a road movie. Luckily he meets up with a similar revenant early-on and the pair set off on their way (after accidentally-on-purpose adopting a pet zombie they name “Cheese”). This trio has various encounters with civilians along the way, all the while being hunted by some hired goons (one of whom fantastically appears to be channeling the spirit of Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura from Predator).
Will the pair get to meet up with the young lady? Will they find out why they are the only smart zombies out there? How did they end up dead anyway? Will anyone have better facial hair than ‘Jesse’? Well, possibly. (Apart from the facial hair point obviously; nothing is going to beat the spectacular face-rack on display here).
OK, it’s getting a bit of a waffly review now so we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty here. What was so enjoyable about this film? Well the vast majority of the fun comes from the relationship between the two lead zombies. Some great dialog scenes really give the impression that these two are genuinely good mates: They help each other out while equally pissing each other off royally! We’ve all had friends who both love and hate each other in just this equal measure, so it’s great to see such a dynamic on-screen.
Secondly, the makeup effects are phenomenal, particularly for the two lead zombies. Perhaps it was the hangover talking, but those dudes looked genuinely infected. To be honest, provided a movie shies-away from just ‘black contact-lenses and green face paint’ it’s usually a good thing, but this movie really went all-out making the stars look like they’re actually rotting. Fair play there, that was impressive.
OK, it’s not perfect. Just the idea of a pair of sentient zombies trekking across the country to propose to a still-alive human lass is, frankly, ludicrous. The whole plot of the movie is too daft to truly get behind which was a shame. Not only is the plot annoying, but the ending of the film just leaves you thinking: ‘Really, that’s actually how they ended this movie?’. Still, complaining that the plot of a Zombie movie isn’t particularly realistic is rather a obsurd statement to make, and anyway we all know that it’s the journey that matters in these films. (Well, that and the death scenes).
Gore Score B
Norks Score F (Unless they occured during the accidental nap-time!)
Originality Score A-
Overall Score B+