Shadow: Dead Riot (2006) Poster

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Almost laughably bad
paully736 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
You wouldn't think this could go so badly. An execution in a prison goes horribly wrong and the dude explodes but not before having completed some odd ritual. Twenty years later, the same place is now a womens correctional facility....cue zombies coming back to life and rampaging the ladies. Actually , sounds okish, huh? Well, if you've got a bunch of mates over and have opened a few beers, you might get a kick out of the terrible acting, dialogue & SFX. I didn't really think they made films like this anymore, it must have been filmed on a shoe-string budget, although some of the choreography in the fight seems isn't too bad.

Even for a die hard zombie film fan this holds little appeal as its only in the last 30 minutes that they actually appear. You have to sit through an hour of pre-amble, setting up decidedly one-dimensional characters who you know are just gonna get ravaged anyhow.

Of note are the lengthy shower scenes (w00t) and the zombie baby (Brain dead anyone?)
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Hugely entertaining grindhouse-style horror schlock
Woodyanders7 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Evil voodoo-practicing serial killer Shadow (deliciously essayed with lip-smacking villainous hammy brio by Tony Todd) gets executed for murdering pregnant women. Twenty years later the prison he was put to death at has been turned into an experimental women's penitentiary. Tough and fiercely autonomous new inmate Solitaire (nicely played with admirable seriousness and intensity by Carla Greene) has some kind of link with Shadow. When Shadow and his lethal shambling zombie minions are resurrected, it's up to Solitaire to stop them. Director Derek Wan and writer Michael Gingold whip up a suitably outrageous and hence immensely enjoyable homage to vintage 70's exploitation fare that blends elements of grisly zombie horror, scuzzy chicks-in-chains flicks, lively chopsocky, and groovy blaxploitation into an extremely nutty and energetic go-for-broke tacky'n'wacky whole: Among the choice cheesy low-rent cinema stuff to relish herein are plentiful gloriously excessive blood-spilling gore, a pleasing smattering of tasty distaff nudity (which naturally includes the inevitable group shower scene), brutal catfights, wild martial arts, gnarly CGI effects, hideous rot-faced flesh-eating ghouls, and even a nasty killer mutant baby who takes a gruesome bite out of one his own mother's breasts (ouch!). This movie further benefits from game acting by a fun cast, with stand-out contributions from Nina Hodoruk as bleeding heart liberal Warden Danvers, Michael Quinlin as mad, lecherous dirtbag Dr. Swan, Cat Miller as the sweet, pregnant Emily, Andrea Langi as mean, predatory lesbian guard Elsa Thorne, Tatianna Butler as fearsome top con Mondo, adorable soft-core starlet Misty Mundae as the mousy, browbeaten Crystal, Ruby Larocca as the scrappy Rage, and Anna Curtis as twitchy junkie Meth. Popping up in cool bits are veteran zombie thespians Captain Haggerty (the big fat ghoul at the very start of Lucio Fulci's "Zombie") and Bill Hinzman (the cemetery zombie in George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead") as two of Shadow's undead followers. Wan's slick cinematography gives the picture an impressive polished look. Vernon Reid's funky'n'moody score does the rousing trick. A total trashy blast.
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Brain Dead meets Ricky-O in great fun Lesbian Prison / Kung Fu / Zombie movie !!!
donjon2 May 2006
If you are fond of over the top, camp experiences like Brain Dead or Ricky-O (Story of Ricky), then you should enjoy this. It is totally ridiculous and a not even close to being a good film, but that doesn't stop it being loads of fun.

I saw this at a horror festival with a really appreciative audience (which definitely helped it out), and the audience was in hysterics throughout and there was regular applause too. OK, some people walked out as well, but that is to be expected with films like this.

There is good gore, loads of tits, terrible dialogue ("I see you're going to be a handful....maybe 2 handfulls"), bad acting, (with a couple of half decent performances thrown in too), zombie babies, shower scenes, mad professor type doctors, bad kung fu, female body builders and probably loads more that I have forgotten.

Quite clearly a "so bad it's good" classic. Can't wait to get the DVD.
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Shadow:Dead Riot
Scarecrow-8820 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Oddball mixture of women-in-prison, zombie, and kung-fu genre elements has Tony Todd starring as an executed psychopath who murdered and raped women before his death by lethal injection. Todd's name is Shadow and his blood is powerful due to a successful ritual which equipped him with superhuman capabilities. When a riot breaks out after Shadow's body explodes(!), during the process of his execution, the prisoners are gunned down by a prison warden's guards. They are buried in a pit on the grounds of the prison along with Shadow's remains, to be forgotten.

20 years later, the prison is a women's reformatory, built as a sort of rehabilitation center for female criminals to help them recover from their past mistakes which brought them to their current situation. A new prisoner is entering the institution, her name Solitaire(Clare Green), a tough young woman with amazing martial arts fighting skills..which she'll need in order to combat a nasty, muscular felon named Mondo who commands an authoritative, intimidating presence among the other inmates, afraid of her because she's stronger and bigger than they are.

The prison's doctor has a vial of Shadow's blood and begins injecting Solitaire with it, hoping the powerful properties will prove that it is a source of eternal life. Meanwhile, Shadow's remains will be resurrected when an inmate(Misti Mundae, AKA, Erin Brown), attempting to escape, snaps her ankle, bleeding into the ground which represents his burial place. Not only will Shadow rise from the earth, but so will the dead inmates buried along with him. Shadow will confront and attempt to destroy Solitaire, the one he sought after when he killed her mother many years ago.

Director Derek Wan is mostly concerned with showing bodies hurled in the air and up against walls with brute force. Solitaire has the uncanny ability to withstand brutal punishment which would paralyze most people, but the excuse for this is Shadow's blood which courses through her veins. Included are the sleazy head of security, Elsa Thorne(Andrea Langi), a lesbian who offers certain inmates privileges as long as they service her sexual needs, and the usual naked showers. Tatianna Butler is Mondo, one of the major antagonists which Solitaire must contend with, although our heroine gets the best of her every time. Michael Quinlan is the other antagonist, Dr. Swann, who actually injects the newborn baby of an inmate, Emily(Cat Miller), with Shadow's blood turning the infant into a bloodthirsty monster reminiscent to the creature in IT'S ALIVE. Swann wants to test Shadow's blood on others before using it on himself. He also supplies a junkie inmate with pills in exchange for sexual favors. But Todd and Greene own this movie as villain and heroine respectively. They have not one but two showdowns and there's plenty of wire-fu where poor Greene gets tossed around, not without getting her licks in. Misty Mundae has a minor role as one of those abused inmates who Mondo mistreats..and, yes, she does get naked on occasion, but leaves the film far too soon. Nina Hodoruk is the warden who desperately wants to rehabilitate and help her prisoners, deeply worried about the occurrences which threaten her institution. You get plenty of zombie carnage at the end, when the female prisoners must ward off(mostly unsuccessfully)the undead awakened by Shadow's blood. Todd makes his appearance in the beginning and end of the film, showing up in flashback when past incidents pop up in Solitaire's mind after she touches a ritualistic symbol carved in the floor of a solitary prison cell she's confined to for fighting with Mondo. Most of the effects are small scale which is probably why Wan edits violent scenes with the gore fast as to not dwell too long on them. The ending involving a special knife and the mark on Shadow's hand makes no sense at all.
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movie covered a lot of bases!
mmquin24 March 2006
This movie incorporated at least 3 genres:women's prison,oriental action, and ghoulish horror. In that respect, it was an adventurous 90 minutes! While Tony was his usual imposing self, the guy playing Dr. Swann struck some realistic chords. He let his motivation for power and sex come through slowly and built up to the final climax.Given the ambitious nature of the film, the cast did the best job they could with minimal dialogue and tough action sequences. Speaking of the action, it was done in a way familiar to those who know Asian action films -- fast, violent, and well interspersed throughout the film. Carla Green looked great in a demanding physical role and I'd love to see more of her! As in many of these kinds of movies, maybe they tried to please too many people, but I'd love to see a sequel
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Lame And Cheezy Semi-Exploiter...
EVOL66614 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I saw a trailer for this film at the Horrorfind Convention in Baltimore this past year, and it looked like some ode to 70s WIP exploit films with some gore and sleaze. I guess they showed all the good parts in the trailer. SHADOW: DEAD RIOT is a disappointing pseudo-exploit mess that is really no better than any other STV crap that's out there nowdays...

Tony (CANDYMAN) Todd plays some fake dread-locked voodoo guy that is a death-row killer. His daughter ends up at the same jail 20 years later, and a bunch of dumb sh!t happens. Oh- and there's a flying mutated cannibal baby...

I really got nothing' to say about SHADOW: DEAD RIOT. I was hoping for a ton of sleazy nudity and a rack of gore, and I didn't get it. There is SOME nudity, and even a little full-frontal - but I guess I set my standards a bit too high on this one. Misty (Erin Brown) Mundae makes an appearance too, which was nice - but didn't save the film. The flying mutated cannibal baby (which only makes a brief appearance) is definitely the highlight of the film. Too "by-the-numbers", not enough gratuitous sex/nudity (though there were plenty of slutty, big-jugged hos in the film...), and there were a few OK gore scenes, but not enough. A total "pass", unless you're drunk on a Sunday afternoon with nothing' else to watch...4/10
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Low budget women and zombies in prison
The_Void7 April 2009
The Women in Prison genre was once saturated by the sleazy films of the likes of Jess Franco and Joe D'Amato; but has all but died out since then and all we are left is the residue; which includes Shadow: Dead Riot. The film is something of a coming together of the aforementioned Women in Prison genre and the zombie genre; although by only giving fleeting glimpses of both, it fails to really nail down either one, and what we are left is a rather silly mess; although it is a sporadically entertaining mess. The film begins with execution of a prison inmate who goes by the name of Shadow. Shadow is apparently a mass murderer with voodoo powers (and just to give you an idea of the overall quality of the film; he's played by Tony Todd in a ridiculous wig!). Anyway, Shadow is killed and his death triggers some sort of curse on the prison. Years later; the prison has become a woman's prison and is welcoming a new arrival in the form of a chick called Solitaire. Solitaire apparently has some link with Shadow and her arrival triggers his second coming...

The film is obviously very low rent and anyone going into it is liable to know that; so it would be a bit pointless to say that the acting is atrociously wooden and ridiculous. My main reason for seeing this film was undoubtedly the presence of soft porn star Misty Mundae. She's bad in this film even by her own low acting standards; and her role is made even more disappointing by the fact that she's not in it for long. The only other name on the cast list likely to be recognised by horror fans belongs to the aforementioned Tony Todd...who picks up his pay cheque. The plot is always silly and ridiculous; but there are a couple of good ideas in there that keep things interesting. There are plenty of coincidences and plot holes, as is often the case with films like this, it's best to turn your brain off before the film starts. The central plot involving the new prison inmates is actually one of the less interesting parts of the film, however, which brings it down. All in all, this is a decent way to kill ninety minutes and while film critics won't be impressed; if you like low budget trash, you might like this.
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Uneventful Exploitation Tribute
lovecraft23110 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Solitaire (Carla Green) goes to an all female prison. Too bad for her (and everyone else) that a notorious serial killer known as Shadow (Tony Todd) is about to come back-along with some zombies. Also, it seems that Solitaire and Shadow are somehow connected.

"Shadow: Dead Riot" is really three kinds of movies crammed into one as an tribute to old school exploitation: Gory Kung-Fu flicks ("Story of Ricky"), Women in Prison flicks ("The Big Bird Cage") and Italian zombie flicks ("Burial Ground.") While it looks great on paper, it sadly doesn't add up. This is partly due to the fact that none of these elements feel like they go far enough. Sure, there's decent gore gags, martial arts mayhem, and lesbian action, but it all feels somewhat restrained, as if the people behind it felt nervous about going too far.

Also problematic is the acting. Erin Brown actually does a pretty good job (I would have liked to see more of her character), and Tony Todd is decent enough (even though he looks too much like an evil version of Lee "Scratch" Perry-not exactly something that will strike fear into men's hearts), but everybody else seems unrehearsed or bored, spewing forth terrible dialog and bad one liners. Finally, some of the tributes and references to past European horror movies like "Cannibal Holocaust" and "Burial Ground" are too obvious (though it's nice to see a horror movie that doesn't reference "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Phantasm" for a change.)

"Shadow: Dead Riot" is a movie that could have been a really fun tribute to the Exploitation movies of old. Sadly, it's refusal to go that extra mile ends up giving off that "sizzle without the steak" feeling. If you want to see a great tribute to old school Grindhouse movies, you'd be better off watching "Grindhouse."
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Enjoy it for what it is.
TdSmth56 October 2013
A serial killer/voodoo practitioner is executed in jail. But something happens and he explodes instead. His blood flows through prison and turns the inmates into zombies. The warden orders all shot and they bury them in the yard.

Years later the jail is now for females only. Some supposedly tough chick called Solitaire is incarcerated. She doesn't want to deal with anyone, but trouble finds her nonetheless. We meet the usual jail characters. The nice but clueless warden, her gorgeous enforcer, the baddest inmate of them all, her gang, and her servant (the lovely Erin Brown), a pregnant nice girl, the evil Dr who experiments on the girls by injecting them with someone's mysterious and powerful blood.

Things quickly turn violent between Solitaire and the bad muscular girl. But Solitaire also starts having visions about the voodoo guy. And whenever blood flows, the earth will suck it up, and people too end up disappearing. The pregnant girl gives birth to some monster baby. And voodoo guy is resurrected together with his army of zombies. That will lead to the eventual confrontation between Solitaire and voodoo guy.

Shadow: Dead Riot was somewhat of a revelation. Trailers of it looked quite awful, but it's a surprisingly good movie. It's not perfect or even good all around. In fact it's like two movies made by two different sets of people. One movies looks good, is well-acted, well-lit. The other looks cheap, is poorly acted, and boring.

When this movie is good, it's very good, it has a bit of the 70s look and feel to it and music by Vernon Reid. The action and fight scenes are outstanding, performances are good, the zombie aspect is also well done with lots of attention to detail, stunts are superb and there's some gore and a bit of nudity.

The problems though include the main character and the lead actress, poor acting by some actors, the cheap CGI effects, the lighting in some sets, the live sound with pronounced echo.

Usually movies that combine different genres altogether don't work at all. But Shadow does. It's a women-in-prison movie with lots of fights inspired by the precision of martial arts, with zombies, and the supernatural. All of these aspects work very well. And I'm more than willing to overlook the negative aspects, after all this isn't a A-level or even B-movie. It's a C+ movie that dared to be different. I wish there had been more emphasis on the women-in-prison theme, more nudity, more gore, more of Andrea Langi, Ruby Larocca and Erin Brown.

Shadow was produced by the same team that produced Flesh for the Beast, another excellent C level horror movie that I'm very fond of and that is overall more consistent than Shadow. Here they had to compromise a bit more but they also took more chances and tried to make an ambitious movie with few resources.

If you give Shadow a fair chance you won't be disappointed.
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Lesbian prison? I don't think so.
sain20021 June 2006
If you're looking for a halfway decent women-in-prison film, look elsewhere. This one isn't campy-fun, it's campy-boring. What really irritates me is that some of the casting is excellent, with Margaret Baker just right as a predatory lesbian guard looking to enjoy the bodies of pretty female inmates like Misty Mundae and Ruby Larocca. But aside from some brief conversation, nothing remotely kinky or erotic ever happens! It's a waste of perfectly good female talent! And if you're not going to have at least one good girl/girl moment then WHY bother with a women-in-prison setting in the first place? The silly zombie plot would have been far more palatable had more attention been paid to the pretty girls-with-other-girls behind bars!
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Tony, you go from Candyman to.....this???!!??
movieman_kev7 May 2007
Bad ass phychopath, Shadow (Candyman's Tony Todd) is executed, but not before starting a full scale riot resulting in many prisoner deaths. Twenty years later the prison is now a womens' penitentiary. Focusing on the new inmate, Solitaire (Carla Greene), a tough girl who Shadow was planning to sacrifice when she was a baby, it isn't long before the zombies of the prisoners led by Shadow himself are out to finish what he started. This cheesy b-grade horror flick might have had a little promise in the beginning and I like Tony Todd, but once the film gets to the women's prison and focuses on it's inhabitants, the film becomes simply dreadfully lame, not even the shower scene or other nudity could save it from sub-par mediocrity. The film does pick up in the last 30 minutes or so, but not enough to make it watchable.

my grade: D

Eye Candy: Toy, and Aggie Valdez show tits; Misty Mundae gives full frontal; Danielle Riley shows EVERYthing; and various extras show much skin as well
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kosmasp29 April 2007
Or even D-movie? I like me a really low-to-no budget movie from time to time. Because they don't take themselves serious. This is the case here too, but still I couldn't enjoy the movie. Yes I knew the budget was tight and that there would not be so much money at hand, but seeing they could hire a martial Arts expert, for the fight scenes, makes you wonder why they didn't also spend money on a funnier script (w/o every cliché in the book)!

Although the tone of the movie is not to be serious, the main actress does take her job a bit too seriously, which contradicts the whole thing and feels stupid. So while there is one or two original things here, the overall feeling, for me was "boring"!
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This movie is a waste of time and really shows how bad Hollywood can get. This movie is a great laugh rather than a great scare.
binomatrix16 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is the definition of not judging a movie by its cover. The cover makes it look alright but the movie itself is crap. The movie would be okay if the director actually put some effort into this 81 minute movie. Me and my friends watched this tonight and we laughed so hard at a movie thats supposed to scare us. The plot is crap, the animations are disgusting and look like cut scenes from an old play station 1 game, the baby in the movie is literally a dummy you can buy in a supermarket for like 5 bucks and when it attacks people they seriously hold him and tilt him so it looks like he is attacking them, the fight scenes are way over done and the special effects are something you can do on windows movie maker and the ending is a failed cliff hanger leading to a non existent sequel and the music can be downloaded free off google. Overall this movie is not worth your 10 bucks. The directors were just taking a dump all over zombie movies and the cover has reviews on it right? yeah, they even misspelled "decade" on one of the reviews. If you want a good laugh at a crappy movie, go and watch it. Just don't buy it.
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Oddball low budget horror.
Paul Andrews19 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Shadow: Dead Riot starts as multiple murderer & all round evil bloke Shadow (Tony Todd) is executed in prison, his supernatural blood leaks out & a full scale prison riot ensues which ends in a massacre. Jump forward 'Twenty Years Later' & the prison is now a rehabilitation center for women where loner Solitaire (Carla Greene) has just been sent, Solitaire is a hard lady & stands up to the prison bully Mondo (Tatianna Butler) & gains the respect of the lesser inmates. However Solitaire has strange visions about Shadow & after blood is spilt on a patch of grass in the grounds under which Shadow is buried he & the massacred inmates are revived & rise from the dead to eat the flesh of the living & only hard as nails Solitaire can stop Shadow & his dead rioting zombie friends...

Photographed & directed by Derek Wan this is a pretty crappy low budget mess of an exploitation film that is saved by a fast pace & a bit of cheap gore but as a film make no mistake Shadow: Dead Riot is rubbish. The script tries to have it's cake & eat it, it tries to be the ultimate exploitation flick as it is an odd mixture of horror, comedy, kung-fu, blaxploitation, women in prison & zombie gore film all in one but the various genres don't come together that well & Shadow: Dead Riot isn't nearly as much fun as it should have been. There's no thought behind the story at all, there's never any reason given as to why Shadow comes back from the dead or why a bunch of zombies do either, there's some random nonsense about his blood & it feels like the makers of Shadow: Dead Riot made it up as they went along & to be honest they probably did. Every part of Shadow: Dead Riot is stolen from somewhere else, everything is predictable & clichéd. The character's are awful, the dialogue is embarrassing & maybe the makers will argue that it's all intentional but do I really want to watch a bad film that know's it bad? Also what about that inmate that made a run for it & got sucked down into the ground? Didn't the warden or guards not find it strange that an inmate suddenly vanished? At 90 odd minutes I got pretty bored with it even though the final third is almost none stop zombie action which says a lot, the first two thirds are more concerned with cat-fights between the inmates, the inmates taking showers, a lesbian guard (named Elsa Thorne after the infamous Ilsa & the actress who played her Dyanne Thorne) & a male Doctor who takes advantage of the female inmates. It's all pretty predictable although I suppose there's a lot going on & your never far from a naked woman or some cheap gore which might be a recommendation to some on it's own. Shadow: Dead Riot sounds great but, well, it isn't.

The special effects are poor, the one or two CGI computer effects are embarrassing while the prosthetics & on set make-up effects look tatty with the worst mutant baby you can imagine. There's a fair amount of gore here, eyeballs hang out, there's plenty of zombies, bitten off nipples, mutant babies, bitten throats, severed limbs, blood spurts, ripped out guts, exploding heads & some really badly choreographed fights. The entire film takes place in just one location to keep the budget down even further. Neither funny nor scary Shadow: Dead Riot pays homage to better films such as Zombi 2 (1979), Burial Ground (1981) & any women in prison film like Chained Heat (1983) even though the women here are not what I would call attractive to be honest & the nude shower scenes aren't as much fun as they should be...

With a supposed budget of about $750,000 it looks every bit as low budget as it was, the production values are poor & the whole thing looks cheap. Filmed in an old disused prison in Holmesburg in Pennsylvania. The acting is bad, Tony Todd is here for the money & looks stupid in thick rimmed glasses & wearing a wig of dreadlocks while everyone else is terrible.

Shadow: Dead Riot is a film that wants to be fun but isn't, it's bad on every level but at least it keeps going & there's lots of blood & breasts even if the effects are poor & the women are unattractive. There are better films out there for sure.
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