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What's the West African vernacular term for "M O R E B R A I N S"...?
Anchor Bay / 105 Minutes / 2010 / Rated R / Street Date: February 14, 2012
The curse of any new zombie movie or television series is that with every new release of one, the question is begged: So what? We have been inundated with undead thrillers over the last few years, signifcantly more than in years (and cinematic phases) past. And while there have no doubt been highlights (the first season of The Walking Dead, for example, and that marvelous new trailer for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), most of the time, when a new zombie flick debuts, it's a non-event, just another gross-out horror flick to slog through.
The Dead suffers a bit from this kind of initial analysis, even though the movie's spin on the subgenre is fascinatingly tense and unique. In this undead saga of people gone insane from their bloodlust for more brains, we are transported to West Africa, where military mechanic Brian (Rob Freeman) gets caught on a plane with a guy who was dead when the plane lifted off, but demonically alive by the time it hit mid-air. The plane crashes, and as Rob is washed onto the beach, he sees a gang of undead lunatics devouring what is probably the last non-zombie person left in town.
In his fevered desire to get the hell out of town, Rob meets up with another non-zombie (Prince David Oseia), who is searching for his son, who has been missing for some time. So as the rest of this movie by the Ford Brothers soldiers on, Rob and his buddy grasp at straws for anything that would save them from a horrific fate of undead dismemberment.
As I moan and bitch about the movie's strictly adherent zombie genre lack of authenticity (you can see every plot twist coming from a mile away), The Dead is still the kind of horror flick that fans will not roll their eyes through. The Ford Brothers orchestrate their film as though it Black Hawk Zombie Dawn, with staccato nausea-cam presence and a fervent sense of humid, thundering sweat and heat. It's not the kind of movie zombie fans might fall in love with, but we've all seen far worse films like it in the last six months.