Dance of the Dead (2008)

   
Produced, Edited & Directed by: Gregg Bishop

Written by:
Joe Ballarini

Starring:

Jared Kuznitz .... Jimmy
Greyson Chadwick .... Lindsey
Chandler Darby .... Steven
Carissa Capobianco .... Gwen
Randy McDowell .... Jules
Michael V. Mammoiliti .... George
Mark Lynch .... Rod
Justin Welborn .... Kyle Grubbin
Mark Oliver .... Coach Keel
Blair Redford .... Nash Rambler
Lucas Till .... Jensen
Jonathan Spencer .... Frank Hammond
Stephen Caudill .... Principal Castlemoody

Release Dates: South by Southwest Film Festival: March 9, 2008; London FightFest Film Festival: August 23, 2008 (UK Premiere); Nuremberg Fantasy Filmfest: September 1, 2008; Limited Theatrical: September 13, 2008 (Los Angeles, California)

*Images courtesy at: www.filmstarts.de

 

 

 

 

 

Rating:

 

A gravedigger (James Jarrett) is doing his job at the graveyard but some bodies are trying to rise from the grave and he tries his best to prevent them while a nuclear power plant is nearby causing the bodies to rise.
Meanwhile at a nearby highschool a prom is about to happen and some outsiders can't seem to find a date for their prom but however, one of them named Jimmy (Jared Kuznitz) might get lucky so he tries to go but is called in to work to deliver a pizza so he tries to make it as quick as he can.
Meanwhile, some other teens bring a camera of their own to videotape their own documentary at the grave and then discovers that the dead are jumping out of their grave and attacking by eating the living.
Some escape and Jimmy discovers the residents he delivered the pizza to aren't alive themselves so he tries to flee for his life too and runs into his bully named Kyle Grubbin (Justin Welborn) as they battle off the zombie's and then gets together with the other survivors that encountered this incident at the graveyard.
Suddenly Kyle gets bitten by a zombie and painfully dies. Next he becomes one of them and tries to attack but gets shot in the head.
The rest try to save their own prom with the aid of their coach teacher Keel (Mark Oliver) by creating a bunch of weapons but they discover that everyone there has turned into zombie's as well so they try to terminate them all before they are next.

 

There's plenty of slapstick and in great taste too. There's some nice shots on a gravedigger doing his duties at the graveyard and then good shots on a hand rising from the ground with him cutting it off along with nice shots on him listening to the ground. Plus there's a good distant shot on the graveyard showing the power plants.
We spot a good scene between Frank Hammond in a science class being a prick to some of his students which looked goofily well done.
We have another slapstick moment with Principal Castlemoody acting nervous with a punk kid Kyle Grubbin in a detention centre.
There's a good angle and camera circling around Jimmy and Coach Keel scolding him and telling him to do some pushups.
There's a cheesy moment between Lindsey and her boyfriend Mitch making out in their car while some other kids are exploring a mortuary with their camcorder which almost looks like a Blair Witch type of direction and have a great shot on a zombie grabbing one of them.
We have great shots on corpses jumping out of their graves into the air and chasing after others as it looks very action paced.
We have a nice approach by a zombie mom when she answers the door when Jimmy tries to deliver a pizza and she tries to bite him with him reacting strangely to her actions and trying to talk to her and then the zombie dad and a zombie daughter also appraching and trying to attack which was a great scene too with some suspense and shocks.
There's a good shot on a car turned over with a dead body exposed while Jimmy is trying to figure out what is going on along with a good discussion between him and Kyle have an aggressive discussion next to the turned over car.
We spot a good shot on Frank in his class in the dark and a dead frog leaping at him and then a nice shot on him as a zombie opening his class door.
There's a nice moment with Kyle acting like a hero in a big mortuary trying to protect everyone with compliments by the other people towards him giving it a good touch.
There's a great scene that involved Keel leading some of the teens into his garage to make weapons since there were many perfect takes on what they were doing.
We have some good takes on Keel shooting his rifle against the zombie's.
We spot many good shots on zombie's at the prom eating a body or acting like they're enjoying the prom in a living dead kind of way.
There's also a nice scene between Jimmy and Lindsey being cornered in the prom by the zombie's and thensome of the teens killing the zombie's whom were once the band and playing a song with the zombie's stopping and then couple dancing giving it a good comedic feel to it along with both Jimmy and Lindsey couple dancing themselves.
We have a good upsetting reaction by Gwen in a washroom towards Steven about being bit by a zombie wanting him to be with her and then later on a good camera shot on her zombie eyes and then lunging at him and biting his tongue.
Later on we have a good shot on Steven rising up as a zombie and then the two of them making out and biting one another.
There's a nice battle sequence between Jimmy and Frank between zombie teacher and alive student which was very watchable and fun.
Bottom line is that Shaun of the Dead became a huge success spoofing George A. Romero flikcs and inspired many others to do so as well and this is one of them. Instead it's about a highschool with your everyday teens clowning around or asking for a date as well as the main school bully too.
It was done in perfect taste too with fast paced action with the zombie's not slowly walking but running very fast with high energy just like in the Dawn of the Dead remake.
There's good effects with plenty of slapstick dark comedy and brought the seriousness to the zombie attacks too proving that this film is very well a horror too.
I found this to be a spoof on the Romero flicks as well as a touch of Return of the Living Dead elements too.
The film isn't exactly mainstream but it is growing to be quite popular for the fans who love these types of zombie flicks with the zany comedy involved too. Lots of fun touches throughout the film and well done.

The actors were mainly local from their area of Georgia but do a great job with their comedic and serious performances.
Jared Kuznitz
(Jimmy) played a good dopey type of a teen in the film and knew how to deliver his lines and battling actions too.
Greyson Chadwick
(Lindsey) also does a fine job and is quite funny with her role saying she's the school president making out she knows best and acting like a stuffed shirt a bit.
Chandler Darby
(Steven) portrayed a good senistive and shy type in the film which came across well too making his role believeable as well to reacting to being in pain while having his tongue being bitten.
Justin Welborn
(Kyle Grubbin) was one of the best actors in the film playing a goofy type school bully with his excellent timing on what he portrayed and can see him doing other projects too. He also shows alot of terrific energy with his intensity and fighting sequences too. He
does well with his aggressive actions and does very well with his battle scene's against the featured extra's who played zombie's too. We have a great painful reaction with him after being bit on the neck and then weakly apologising to everyone on how he treated them at school. Then there's a great rising reaction on him and quickly trying to attack which almost makes you jump.
I'd have to say the best actor is Mark Oliver (Coach Keel) whom I remembered playing a tough teen in Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland and even found he could go places with his performance in that one but sadly locals like him don't get alot of luck having bigger roles with other projects but he had the main supporting role playing one of the adults and this time he's a tough coach teacher and it was a big stretch showing a different character alltogether which he does extremely well proving to be a versatile actor. He also does well with his gunfighting battles against the zombie's too bringing wit and plenty of charisma. I found this film to be his big break and can see him now getting bigger roles in future gigs since this one is better known.
Jonathan Spencer
(Frank Hammond) seemed to be a comedic character actor as well playing a dickhead science teacher as he stood out very well with his part in it.
We also have a part by James Jarrett (Gravedigger) whom is kookie since we need someone like this for a living dead type of film bringing his part very clear to the picture.

A hand is chopped off from rising in the ground
There's body parts in a container
Heads are ripped off
Arms are torn off
Heads blown off
Brutal stabbings
Zombie's eating body parts
Guts being torn open
A tongue is bitten off
Two zombie's bite one another
Plenty of blood

Kristopher Carter is the composer in which he is marvellous at doing. Spot some good metallic and rumbling sounds with the dead rising. There's lots of deep classical playing for the film too with the suspenseful horn and violin music too giving it that good mainstream horror feel to the film.

Gravedigger: Ah hell!

Frank Hammond: Jimmy, quit acting like an idiot and dissect your frog!

Kwiki Mart Attendant: Hey, no eating in store!