FEBRUARY 21, 2007
One day my wife said “Hey I came up with a good title for a horror movie: Dead and Breakfast.” Being the kind, supportive husband I am, I immediately replied “Yeah too bad someone else already used it, dummy.” Maybe if I had already seen the movie at that point I could have came off nicer (or not have slept on the couch) by adding “but they wasted it on a lame movie."
Not that the horror comedy ever really holds much promise, but this one squandered more opportunities than usual for the subgenre. The horror stuff is fine, if nothing special, but almost NONE of the humor works (the commentary track, including cast members like Ever Carradine and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, is infinitely more amusing). There are amusing bits/kills here and there, but so many others fall flat (especially some PAINFULLY bad self-referential jokes) it’s not enough to save it.
There should be a rule that no film kills off Jeremy Sisto until at LEAST the halfway mark, if not closer to the end, if at all! He’s usually the most colorful guy in a movie, and this film is no exception. But he’s killed a third of the way into the film. More disappointing, he doesn’t turn into a zombie like the other characters, instead the main zombie uses his (awfully fake) head as a ventriloquist dummy for the rest of the film. Oh well.
Also, if a huge evil force is trapped inside a box, why couldn’t someone just have put it away in a sock drawer instead of on top of a bureau where anyone can knock it over? I guess it’s none of our business.
I will admit, however, the bizarre rap/dance number that occurs about an hour into the film is AMAZING. It’s worth watching the film just for that. Throughout the film, this guy comes on (transitioned with some really good artwork) and sings a little song that reminds you of what’s going on. Usually it’s just a little acoustic ditty (sort of like in There’s Something About Mary, another unfunny movie) but for whatever reason at this point they decide a full blown rap would suffice. It makes no sense, sure, but the non-dancing characters actually SEE IT. Usually in a musical, whenever people sing/dance, no one else seems to notice. I loved that. For two or three minutes, the film is everything it should have been. And I suspect the director (or whoever the guy who cut the trailer was) knew as much, since the trailer makes the film look totally serious until the very end, when a brief snippet of the dance number is shown.
Obviously the influences here are Evil Dead 2 and Dead Alive (yes, aka Brain Dead, before a horror nerd calls me out), and that’s OK, but someone behind the scenes didn’t have the ability to pull it off. They follow the “rules” for these types of films: weird things being used to kill zombies, the gore is excessive, etc. Speaking of which, along with antlers, a chainsaw, and hedge trimmers, the characters use homemade shotguns? Apparently the bed and breakfast the characters are trapped inside was once a Home Depot, considering all of the tools and hardware they find. I know the movie isn’t supposed to be taken seriously, but it still should have some sort of interior logic.
But regardless, the humor ruins just about everything. Take the scene (please) where one character tries to run away from a corpse, but he keeps slipping on the blood. I guess the director and editor thought it was funny, hence why it runs for some thirty seven hours (complete with ‘zany’ Looney Tunes style music). But, it’s not, and its excessive length just makes it more annoying.
Matthew Leutwyler has since made another film, called Unearthed, that sounds similar but less comic, so hopefully it will be more successful. He’s also writing a Creepshow remake; thanks pal.
You know, just once I’d like to see a film where a group of kids go somewhere, and their car breaks down, so they’re forced to spend the night somewhere creepy. But nothing happens to them. Then the next day the car is fixed and they get to their wedding or concert or wherever the hell they were going, and everyone that was already there is dead, from a natural disaster or something. And they realize that their lives were spared. The rest of the movie is about them driving home, pondering their fate and the existence of God. Then they get home and are all hit by cars.
What say you?