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Dead at the Box Office (2005)

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After finding a mysterious film reel hidden in their ceiling, the well-meaning staff of a struggling movie theater assume that the film is an old B-movie preview trailer and play it before ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Allen Williams ...
Ron Gordon
Isaiah Robinson ...
Chris FitzPatrick ...
Carole Stueben ...
John Paul Puglisi ...
Rich Hurley
Casey Kirkpatrick ...
Elyse Soto ...
Riley Vickrey ...
Melinda Lawson ...
Ryan A. Markle ...
Dr. Hans Eisner
Alex Malinovich ...
Mossad Agent
Derek McMahan ...
G-Man #1
Mark Horstmann ...
G-Man #2
Kevin Toth ...
G-Man #3


After finding a mysterious film reel hidden in their ceiling, the well-meaning staff of a struggling movie theater assume that the film is an old B-movie preview trailer and play it before a midnight screening of the timeless George A. Romero masterpiece, 'Night of the Living Dead'. When the film is revealed to be a long-dead Nazi scientist's mind control experiment, their audience of horror movie fanatics is transformed into a mob of mindless zombies with a fierce hunger for the flesh of the living! Ten survivors struggle to stay alive as the cinema is overrun by shambling hordes of the undead, while outside, ruthless government agents plot to halt the spread of the mysterious outbreak by any means necessary. Sometimes creepy, sometimes campy, 'Dead at the Box Office' pays tribute to the low budget horror films of the '70s and '80s. Combining the elements of these "B" classics with a fresh twist on the zombie origin, 'Dead at the Box Office' is a tongue-in-cheek salute to horror fans... Written by D@BO HQ

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Now PREYING at a theatre near you.


Horror | Thriller



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16 September 2005 (USA)  »

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References Night of the Living Dead (1968) See more »

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Some heart, very little braaaaaaaaaaaaaains
30 October 2007 | by (Chicago, USA) – See all my reviews

It's obvious that the people who made 'Dead At The Box Office' love B-movie horror. Overt references to the genre are peppered throughout, from stock characters (the authority figure who doesn't believe the monstrous invasion is really happening) to Kevin Smith style discussions to reenacting Duane Jones' last moments from 'Night of the Living Dead' not once but twice.

Unfortunately it takes more than love to make a good movie.

The staging and shot choice are unexciting and unimaginative. While a common admonition in film school is to avoid 'Mastershot Theatre,' telling the story completely in a wide master shot, here we find the obverse as in several sequences it's hard to figure out the spatial relationships between characters as the story is told in a series of medium shots with no establishing shot to tie it together. Editing is drab and basic and at times there are unmotivated cuts. The lighting is flat and sometimes muddy, making the scenes in the darkened theatre hard to make out (was there lighting, or was this shot with available light only?). Some shots are out of focus. The dialogue is trite, and the performances, for the most part, one-note (Isaiah Robinson shows some energy and screen presence as Curtis, and the fellow playing the projectionist has some pleasantly dickish line readings; Michael Allen Williams as the theater manager and Casey Kirkpatrick as enthusiastic film geek Eric have some nice moments). The premise is silly, even for a B horror flick (Also, it's too bad Dr Eisner was unaware of Project Paperclip - he could've saved himself a lot of trouble!). The 'zombies' are non-threatening, and their makeup is unconvincing (although the chunky zombie trying to get a gumball out of the machine raised a smile). For a zombie fan film, there is very little blood or violence, although what there is, is handled pretty well. The incidental music, while stylistically uneven, is kind of nice at times, and there are some good foley effects. The 'Time Warp' parody was a fun listen, although the images going along with it were less fun to watch. Unfortunately, the looped dialogue sounds flat. Was this shot non-sync (doubtful, it looks like video through and through)? I watched the special introduction by Troma Films' Lloyd Kaufman before the main feature - although it consisted essentially of Kaufman plugging his own stuff and admitting that he hadn't seen the movie while someone mugged in a Toxie mask, its production and entertainment values were higher than 'Dead...' itself (quick aside to whoever put the DVD together - the countdown on film leader beeps only on the flash-frame 2, not on every number plus one more after). For that matter, the vampire film theatregoers are seen watching early in 'Dead...' looked a lot more entertaining than this. Recommendation to avoid, unless you know someone involved in the production or are an ardent Lloyd Kaufman completist (he plays 'Kaufman the Minion' in the film-within-a-film).

(Full disclosure: my girlfriend is an extra in this movie. I swear this did not color my review.)

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