Dead & Deader (How much did my brain regress?)

The gore is pretty weak from the beginning. Head shots result in no head explosions. Cheesy lines are uttered way too frequently. Instantly, you are laughing at the move and not with the movie. Not a good sign, but we will see how the rest of it goes. Somehow scorpions are involved. Oh yeah, and the U.S. military and bio-engineering chicanery. The credits are pointless, melodramatic. I realize credits happen at the beginning of the film, but isn’t there a better way to incorporate them into the story.

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Dead and Deader is a true zombie movie, the men do die and come back to life. Dean Cain gets a leading role, and delivers on the potential of the role. The zombies can sometimes talk, have super strength and punishment levels. Eddie Griffin plays the military cook. Cain goes from dead to the walking dead to delivering orders and offering advice, such as “whatever you do, don’t let it bite you” in minutes. Yes, that is right 1990s Superman battles the walking dead while being .  Talk about a self loathing zombie, although he has some attractive opposite sex attention.  Even zombies have needs.  Plus, someone has to be the hero.

Anyways, Zombies barge in and create some chaos.  Zombies are dispatched via fan, meat grinder, and a wicked hatchet throw by the dead Cain who develops a strong urge for red meat. After a quick gorge, his red, demonic eyes fade and he is a rational being again. He is like a zombie Blade. This movie asks you to check logic at the door and indulge in fairly mediocre gore and Dean Cain’s handsome skeletal structure and superb acting abilities.

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Court martialed a long with the cook, they are being escorted into lockup, where Cain goes berserk, freeing them. The white guy-black guy buddy movie territory is entered. Wariness sets in, too many genres and cliches are being tossed about.

Zombies have escaped from the military truck escorting them to a facility. Cain and cook are following behind. Apparently, the infected have incredible hearing. After finding the carnage, they stop off at a local dive bar. Of course, Cain has a craving for red meat, but before that can happen the tables are turned. Cain and cook have been found out due to . Obviously, everybody at the hick bar is armed with some sort of firearm. Unfortunately, they are of little use when zombies come a-knockin’. Necks are feasted upon while Cain and the cook are locked in the freezer. One ruffian gets his groan bitten into.

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Invariably, the bi-racial duo get out since the bartender sought refuge in the freezer. After using antler horns to pin a zombie into the wall, Cain slices his old brother in arms’ head off with an axe. The fuzz roll up to the carnage and arrest Cain and cook, but are freed as Cain again goes berserk. The hot, bad mama jama bartender spirits the half dead/half living duo away. The ambiguously gay duo is referenced as newly formed trio look for new outfits. The second the female bartender rescues them you just know she is going to fall for Cain, who has a sympathetic story (being a walking dead man with two dead parents).

Decked out in a fur coat, Cain looks ridiculous. The first walking dead white pimp? Cook rocks a Jacksonian Black and Red leather jacket. Seconds later, Thriller is mentioned.  Now out and about in disguise, the three musketeers are on the hunt for a body. Bobby (Cain) suffers a craving attack while looking around the dead man’s house. He trips out while looking into the mirror, and runs quickly for the fridge. Thankfully, the residents are not vegetarians, so Bobby can chow down on raw red meat. When will he go over to the darkside? A neighbor, who has seen them break in, comes over and ends up joining their cause. She is horny for an adventure and a man. She also drives a Hummer. She mistakenly thinks Cain and bartender are a couple.

Making their way to the church morgue, they find out the body has already been taken. Bobby has another hunger attack, which are coming more frequently. His voice changes and the woman is concerned. She suggests going through a drive through.  Come on drives thrus are never that fast.  Plus, the dead man wants raw red meat. A black van rolls up with guns pointed and rounds them up. I don’t think it is the A-Team.

In fact, it is a group of rogue scientists working on a cure for death. They are responsible for the current outbreak. But their intentions are noble, at least in the mind of their boss, the head scientist, who talks in a low, gravely voice. He weaves a tale of the soldiers going to Cambodia where the cure for death had allegedly been found. The head guy has cancer and is dying, so his desire for ending death is obvious. They want a sample of Bobby’s blood, but he goes Hulk. Until, they threaten the life of a woman. Noble Bobby gives in, but to his dismay they still feed the woman to a zombie.

Promised meat, Bobby goes without before being tossed back into a jail cell with his friends. Unable to fend off the jonesing for meat, he really starts tweaking. Shockingly, and, fortunately, they get out of the cell and he finds a reserve of the red raw. Meanwhile, the head scientist has taken his team out to get another of the bodies coming back from Cambodia, who has awoken and run amok infecting the whole base.

Bartender girl is not scared, she has seen Dawn of the Dead, the original, forty-seven times. Bobby is partial to the remake, saying it “kicked ass.” Bartender girl agrees the first few minutes of the film ruled, but that it lacked the conceptual depth of the original. The scientists squad have moved through the facility killing the infected. Leaving the cook locked in with a horde of infected, Cain and bartender are playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with the scientists among the infected. She is skilled at aiming for the head. More sexual tension is introduced. Will a union be made between the walking dead and the living?

The scientists squad is decimated but functional. Head doctor is searching through a man’s innards attempting to find anything that will help him. Infected action allows for more gunplay and for a man’s arms to be ripped off. Bobby exterminates a human woman from the scientists’ team with extreme prejudice.

Surprise, surprise the cook lived. He crawled into a conveniently located wall space, and was let out by the couple flaunting societal mores. Bobby has a plan to blow up the ammo dump, which will flame broil the infected. The question is when will Bobby need to eat? He asks bartender and cook to be human bait to draw the zombies. Bartender really takes to it with a “here zombie zombie zombie,” while the cook runs around looking like Michael. Will a Thriller dance be performed before the end? Bobby sets the charges as bartender runs around hysterically screaming “Bobby.” As expected, he rolls up in a jeep just in time to snatch them and speed away as the facility explodes. Smartly, the trio shows up to do a thorough search to verify all the zombies have been eliminated.

Cain waxes eloquently at the end about how he is dead and can now do anything he wants. Dropping nuggets of wisdom, like ‘being dead has made me appreciate life,’ Bobby charms bartender woman, who uses the opportunity to suggest a romantic rendezvous at a close-by hotel. The film ends before the deal can be sealed, but it is implied that the dead do rise in more ways than one.

Short, and quickly paced, Dead & Deader is actually a very enjoyable flick, albeit one light on substance. Loaded with intentional and unintentional comedy, Cain shows off his impressive acting skills. Shaun of the Dead it is not, but you could do much worse than Dead & Deader.  It is full of film references. Multiple movie franchises, including Bond and Star Wars, are debated and/or referenced.  Plus, Michael Bay is insulted thoroughly; “Your story has more holes in it than a Michael Bay film.”

t’n’a 0/5
gore 3/5
overall 2.75/5

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One Response to “Dead & Deader (How much did my brain regress?)”

  1. We have George Romero visiting us in Charlotte this week — very exciting. This city could use a few more zombies.

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