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A. Michael Baldwin,
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A boy declares his love for his girlfriend, only to die the same night. He is brought back to life by his mother as a flesh-craving zombie, who sires more teen undead while trying to control his, er, appetite for his beloved.
A father, a daughter, a future stepmother and a boyfriend are traveling when they stop in a small town (isn't it always a small town?) for some dinner and a place to sleep. The restaurant gets its meat locally, but sometimes local doesn't always mean healthy. There's a new kind of mad cow disease in town.
When this film showed up in the mail, I was undecided on how to take it. It had "Billy Zane" written on the cover, which seemed like a promising thing. Because Zane, for whatever reason, seems to suggest greatness -- despite my inability to determine why. And then I watched the trailer on my DVD of "Bottom Feeder", and this looked like a possible American answer to England's "Shaun of the Dead". Boy, is that giving it way too much credit.
The company behind this film is 235 Films (a new company behind such greats as "Bottom Feeder" and "UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine"). Their gimmick seems to be get a half-baked script, an unknown director, and then find one B-league star and put his/her name prominently on the cover. First Michael Madsen, then Tom Sizemore and now Billy Zane.
Now, Billy Zane ("Demon Knight", "Back to the Future") is a great actor and a wonderful action star and comedian. I think I could say he was the best part of this film without much debate. But he just couldn't save it. They gave him no good lines and he was just way too big to fill such a small character (not a small part, mind you, just such a one-dimensional character).
You see, the cool parts only take up ten minutes of the film. The rest is mostly a bunch of scenes where the daughter and future stepmother fight with each other. It's overdone, poorly scripted, poorly acted and really doesn't tie in to the overall plot. I was quite bored through much of this. I guess the daughter was sort of cute, but that didn't even come close to making up for the sheer blahness of it all.
Best scene was the "zombie debate" scene where they were trying to determine if the people they were fighting were zombies or not. They were flesh-eating and not dead... but were they undead? It's a good scene, and way too short. This sort of discourse could have carried the movie if it came in copious amounts.
Also, as with many films, I enjoyed the deleted scene. It was a music scene and nothing really happened in it, but it had artistic merit. And if you're going to give me a boring, pointless film -- you can at least make it artistic. Instead, they excised it out.
This film wasn't worthless. It had some good scenes, it had some humor, it had Billy Zane and I think the story was interesting. Maybe it had the wrong writer or director or editor. Maybe it had the wrong actors. It's hard to pinpoint it, because it seems like something that should have been kick-butt. If someone wants to remake this twenty years from now, or even a year from now (heck, "The Incredible Hulk" gets away with it) I support your cause. Because I think this one has a piece of hope buried under its large, bulbous morass.
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