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Stephen Gregory Foster
Archie is a "brain" at a small town high school who works part-time at his uncle's mortuary and is harassed by a few of the popular kids because of it. His harassers die in an automobile accident, and the bodies are taken to his uncle's mortuary. Archie is pulling a late night at the mortuary when he sees a storm brewing. Lighting strikes! They're alive! The preppie bullies continue to torment him - as zombies. Written by
David McHale <email@example.com>
17.1 NIGHT LIFE (horror/comedy, 1989) Archie (Scott Grimes) works with his domineering uncle Flanders at the local mortuary. Though he hates the job, he needs the money to go to college. At school Archie is constantly bullied by the local 'jocks'. In one of their many pranks they get him fired. If that wasn't enough his only love interest is leaving town. But Flanders offers him a second chance when he asks his help with some new corpses. Archies' assignment is made all the more difficult when they unexpectedly come to life.
Critique: Horror comedy mixes youth exploitation plot with good dozes of zombie fun. In fact, the whole film seems geared at a 'Revenge of the Nerds'-type audience; as Archie gets repeatedly bullied, has failed romantic exploits and so on. The difference being that our hero turns out to be more resilient, tougher and smarter than your usual self-pitying film geek.
Film has good special effects, spooky atmosphere, action and humor. Above all it's a fairly surprising showcase from an otherwise unknown, capable cast. Particularly appealing is Scott Grimes' Archie. A cross between Michael J. Foxs' 'Marty McFly' from the 'Back to the Future' trilogy, and Macauley Caulkins' 'Home Alone' kid. He is funny, charismatic and exhumes a surprising leading man-type appeal. A fun but otherwise gory film.
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