Dead Life (2005) – By Brian Morton

 If you’re a horror movie aficionado (like me) then you’ll probably agree that zombie movies are like pizza, there’s really not a bad one, just differing levels of goodness, some being better than the others. Dead Life lies somewhere in the middle, I’ve seen a whole lot worse and I’ve seen a few better.

Dead Life is the tale of Maxx, a man who was an abused kid who’s living in a small town, leading a small town life. You know, working on his house, drinking beer with the buddies he’s had since high school, typical small town stuff. Well, one day something changes in small town America, and that’s the entry of Necrotizing Faceitis M, a disease that kills the living flesh but leaves the brain semi-functional, thus creating the requisite zombies. Hey, it’s hard to make a zombie movie without the living dead, ain’t it?

What follows is a movie that is well acted but pretty predictable otherwise. Maxx and his friends begin by being trapped, then decide to flee to find Maxx’s girlfriend and anyone else who might have survived, which leads to a pretty predictable last third of a movie.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing this movie, it’s just that after all the zombie movies that are out there, it’s getting more and more difficult to find an original angle on this over-used genre. This starts with something that is pretty fresh and original, but becomes just more of what we’ve seen too much already. Is it worth checking out? I think so, despite the flaws that are pretty obvious (and if I can see them, they have to be obvious, I ain’t that smart) this is a movie that was obviously done with love and respect of the genre. The acting and direction are very strong and the over-all look of the movie is very good, much better than the standard shot on digital video stuff that’s being constantly trotted out nowadays, and let’s not forget special effects. For being a low budget movie, the effects here are pretty good, what isn’t seen is often stronger than what is seen, and here that’s true, a lot of the shooting is done from a perspective that can’t see the damage of the shot, and I’m pretty sure this was a budgetary decision, that’s gotta be pretty expensive, but what is seen is pretty good! The scalping scene here is tremendous, and I won’t tell you what one female zombie does shortly after being reanimated, let’s just say that you’ll never look at boobs the same way again!

If you’re a fan of the undead or would just like to watch this for yourself to be able to tell me that I’m full of it…and by the way, I’m already aware of that little fact…check it out for yourself at Brain Damage So until the next time when I’ll find myself a bit puckish and try to eat your brain, remember that the best movies are bad movies.