Monday, March 05, 2012

Deadheads Versus Black Hats: A Movie Review

Directors/writers: Bret Pierce and Drew T. Pierce.

Deadheads is a zomedy in the vein of Shaun of the Dead, Aaah! Zombies!!, and A Little Bit Zombie. The film here is most remiscent of Shaun of the Dead in which two friends try to deal with the zombie apocalypse to moderate results. However in this film Mike (Michael McKiddy) and Brent (Ross Kidder) are not of the living. Instead, they are zombies released from a military lab'. The next 90 minutes is then a road trip styled film as the characters are pursued by the scientists. Deadheads blends genres along the way including: comedy, action and romance. Pandering to so many genres seems to weaken all of them, but overall this is a fun film for zombie movie fans.

Mike and Brent meet up with Cliff (Harry Burkey) after their escape. Cliff is burying the renowned prostitute Pei-Pei's ashes in Lake Michigan. Cheese (Markus Taylor), a dumber zombie not infused with the "Re-anime" serum, joins them. The main storyline involves Mike's simmering love for Ellie (Natalie Victoria). The military is in their way as the black hats try to reacquire their undead goods. So, here and there an overly masculine soldier will spout lines like: "that is the last vagina monologue that I want to hear coming out of your mouth!" before giving Mike and Brent the umpteenth beating. A Shaft wannabe (Thomas Galasso) also joins the goon squad and he looks like he has just stepped out of the film Night of the Living Dead.

There are a few other film references in the film besides Night of the Living Dead, but the reference to NOTLD is the most obvious. One of the early scenes with zombies breaking down an isolated farm door is taken straight out of this '60s film. There is another scene with Mike being towed behind a vehicle that is lifted or borrowed from Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Instead of a whip to hold onto, Mike uses an intestine. Later, Mike references the Terminator films when he lies about his name being John Connors to Ellie. Shaft is also mentioned and you can tell that brothers Bret Pierce and Drew T. Pierce are big film fans. But does their film deliver?

This critique would say yes for a few reasons. The comedic bits are hit and miss, but everyone's brand of comedy is different and some of the better comedic pieces resonated with this watcher. How can you not laugh at a grown man spouting "Mortal Kombat" lines like "flawless victory!" They are just too ridiculous not to cause a chuckle or two. The introduction of an action sub-plot also keeps the energy up and the goon squad keeps Mike and Brent moving towards their goal, Ellie. The romantic elements are mostly on the sidelines until a few later scenes. In general, the film production is of quality, the acting is solid and the tone of the film is one of amusement and mild spectacle. You really have to give credit to the filmmakers for wanting to entertain fans.

And this is a zomedy that is worth watching. To release on DVD March 6th through Freestyle Digital Media, Deadheads is a film that zombie film fans will want to seek out. The ending is a little contrived, but a zombie film requires some suspension of belief just to get you started. Search for this film wherever you can find it for a light romp through an awkward High School reunion, a zombie apocalypse and into the arms of a femme fatale as characters Mike and Brent invite you to enjoy a zombie road movie and all the hilarious missteps therein.

Overall: 7.5 out of 10.

Join the film's fan page for more release details:

Deadheads on Facebook

28DLA writer Ed Sum has also reviewed this title here:

Deadheads Reviewed on 28dLA

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