Die and Let Live (2007) – By Duane L. Martin

 Best friends Benny and Smalls are having a party.  See, Benny has a crush on this girl Stephanie, and since she just broke up with her playah boyfriend Andrew, Benny sees this party as his shot to finally get with her, even though he has another equally hot girl who already wants him.  Some people are just too stupid to see what’s been right in front of them all along, aren’t they?

While all this is going on, there’s a zombie breakout at a local research facility, which basically goes about how you’d expect it to.  It starts out with a few and then there get to be more and more as the zombies keep killing people.  This all leads up to a stand off with the zombies at the party, which doesn’t turn out pretty for our heroes.

This isn’t a really bad movie, but it does have some problems.  The first and foremost problem in my book is that it can’t seem to decide what kind of a movie it is.  It’s part teen sex comedy and part zombie movie.  The big problem with that is that it doesn’t really do either one all that well.  While it does have some funny moments, the zombie make up and gore effects are very amateurish and not all that great looking, the comedy is rarely worth more than a smile, the characters are no one you really care about and the whole story just seems like kind of a mess.

This film, at least for me, seems like it could have used a lot more script revisions.  They should have had people read through it and make suggestions or something.  They also should have concentrated more on the zombie make-up and effects if they were going to do the whole zombie thing.  It all goes back to that whole, "If you’re going to do something, then do it right," axiom.  The whole zombie side of the story felt half-assed at best, and didn’t really work with the teen sex comedy part of the story.  Again, they should have picked one or the other.  At times, you almost forget the zombie part exists, but it keeps creeping up here and there until the end of the film when it culminates in a full on zombie invasion at the party.

From a technical standpoint, the camera work was ok, the lighting was ok, the editing and pacing were ok, but the sound could have used some work.  There were parts where I had a hard time making out the dialogue.

The dialogue is something else that bothered me.  It almost sounded like a weird mixture of ad-libbed and recited.  This was pretty consistent throughout the film and pretty much describes the performances of everyone in it.

This movie does have its moments and isn’t entirely unenjoyable, but I think one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have is because I saw a lot of unfulfilled potential here, and that left me feeling like if they had just put more thought and effort into various aspects of the film, the whole thing could have been much better than it was.  Again, it wasn’t entirely un-enjoyable.  In fact some parts of it were quite amusing.  I don’t want to give the impression that this movie completely sucked.  I’m just saying it could have been a lot better.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check it out on the Heretic Films website at http://www.hereticfilms.com.