Awaken the Dead (2007) – By Brian Morton

 It seems that zombie movies are a dime a dozen these days, since 28 Days Later sort of revived the sub-genre we’ve been given Dawn of the Dead, Land of the Dead and a host of indie zombie movies, mostly cut from the same cloth, the dead rise, a small group of people have to band together…blah, blah, blah. So, when anything with ‘dead’ in the title crosses my desk, I tend to not be as interested as I probably should be, expecting more of the same, rubber intestines, bad zombie makeup and enough corn syrup blood to douse twelve million pancakes! So, when Awaken the Dead came my way, I was less than excited, and I was dead wrong, this is indie zombies with a new twist!

The story here involves a priest, Father Christopher, who’s given a strange message from a person from his past. He finds himself at the home of Mary, where’s he’s told to wait for her father, who has a strange hold on him. Not long after Mary and Christopher meet, a strange plane flies over the city and the people begin to die…and then come back. Through the course of the movie, the unlikely duo makes discoveries about the situation and themselves that changes the movies from just another zombie movie to something different! I’d like to tell you a bit more, but why ruin the movie for you?

Gary Douglas Kohn is perfectly cast as Father Christopher, the priest with a dark past, and Lindsey Morris is a great counter-point to Christopher as Mary! Now, the movie isn’t perfect, at one point a character is found in the back-yard the group is passing through, she joins up, and from the start I wasn’t sure why she was there, except for a larger body count. But, the centerpiece of the movie isn’t the zombies, as it usually is in these movies, the centerpiece is a mystery, who called these two people together, why are they being forced to fight the recently risen dead, and why are the dead rising to begin with. Awaken the Dead shies away from the zombie movie clichés and strives more to develop the characters and the story…and it succeeds! I’m giving Awaken the Dead three and a half out of four cigars, because, I’d actually like to see Kohn back as Father Christopher in more adventures…and they wouldn’t all be zombie adventures, but you’ll have to see the movie to understand that. You can find out more about the movie by heading over to Awaken the Dead The, or you can head over to Brain Damage and find out how to get your own copy. If you’re a fan of the zombie genre, you won’t be disappointed, and if you feel like you’re a little beyond the standard zombie movie, this movie is for you! So, until next time, when, like the dead, I’ll rise from my chair and change the DVD, remember that the best movies are bad movies.