Monday, November 28, 2011

Deadheads and Zombie Humour: A Movie Review

Directors/Writers: Brett and Drew Pierce.

Cast: Ross Kidder, Michael McKiddy and Markus Taylor.

The Deadheads is less about the horror of being undead and more about the relationships known back then and made now. When Mike Kellerman (Michael McKiddy) awakens to the unknown—and unaware he's technically a zombie of a new generation—the only help he's going to find is with Brent Guthrie (Ross Kidder), a drifter who's all about living life even though he’s dead too.

Part bro-rom-com and part adventure, this film quickly gets these two characters paired up for a look at what life is like for two outcasts. A part of what defines a horror film is retained, and that's to look deep into mankind's fears of acceptance within society.

Kellerman is an author, an individual who can hardly make ends meet, and he's in still in love with his high school sweetheart. He explains his motivations and this reveal sets up the movie's plot. He wants to puts to rest some feelings he has had for this girl, but he does not know what has happened in the years since he was absent. She may have moved on and to get there requires the help of Guthrie.

McKiddy and Kidder have a great chemistry throughout the film. And what develops about kin looking out for each other does not include just them. They have a pet of sorts, a mindless zombie named Cheese, that's wonderfully played by Markus Taylor. This gentle giant overshadows another comedy pairing, and some viewers may wonder if each group is trying to outdo each other. McDinkle (Benjamin Webster) and Eric's (Brian Matthew Richardson) camaraderie is more reminiscent of a wrestling tag-team.

Webster is obviously hamming it up a la Hulk Hogan and Richardson plays up the straight man from the traditional comedy duos of yesteryears. He’s the only character who keeps his head throughout the film. But when there is a secret agenda going on, nobody is going to win. Apparently, someone is out to make the ultimate super soldier. When McDinkle isn’t it, someone else is going to be. Perhaps that's why Kellerman ends up surviving more than just bullet wounds.

The military needs a thinking soldier than just a mindless one; they need someone who can think in the battlefield but yet take orders without question. The underlying tale is great when viewers stop to think about how all the characters behave in contrast to each other throughout the film.

The Pierce Brothers provide some great thinking moments when these reveals are made. After all, Elle Masterson’s (Natalie Victoria) dad is some kind of scientist who thinks Kellerman is worth more than in what his little girl feels for him. With this amount of thought put behind the tale, this film stands very well on its own merit than to be compared.

To even liken it to another buddy film, Shaun of the Dead, really does not work. British humour is nothing like American humour, and this film is all American. That can be found with the in-jokes to popular culture, namely Transformers. Unless fans have been living under a rock in the last few years, like Kellerman, the throwback to the movie styling of the late 80’s and early 90's are heavily apparent in this film.

Pierce Brothers wrote and directed a wonderful gem of a product. By borrowing a little from the zombie highlights of several decades, they even make the pre-requisite African-American warrior spectacular. Thomas Jeremiah (Thomas Galasso) channels everything that audiences can remember from the character of Ben from Night of the Living Dead. Had the original character survived, he would no doubt be continuing the legacy by making a cameo appearance.

Currently this film is touring the film festival circuit and is available in select markets, including video on demand, like NetFlix.

Overall: 7 out of 10.

The film's fan page is here:

Deadheads on Facebook

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