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Dead Heist (2007)

Not Rated | | Action, Horror | 7 August 2007 (USA)
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Four friends plan the perfect small town bank heist, but choose the wrong night. Their plans go horribly wrong when vampiric zombies attack the town and trap them in the bank. Can they escape with the money and their lives?

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(script), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Hunter
Brandon Xavier ... Ski (as Brandon Hardin)
D.J. Naylor ... Ackson
... Malcolm
E-40 ... Hustle
... Kate (as T-Love)
Michael Braxton ... Trey
Chris Bailey ... Bone
... Himself (as Bonecrusher)
... Rich
... Sheriff
Bill Ladd ... Deputy Miller
... Deputy ...
Charlie Lucas ... Uncle Authur
Joi Heggins ... Bonecrusher's Girl
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Storyline

In Miami, four small time thieves leaded by Ski decide to rob a bank in the small town of Maysville. The lord Hustle demands a 10% commission and sends his experienced bodyguard Ackson to help the gang in their plan. He goes to the target bank to check the security system, but Ski decides to anticipate the plan for that afternoon. They succeed in the heist, but Deputy Kate activates the alarm and one of the criminals shoots Deputy Duff. When the bank is under siege of the police force, they are attacked by weird creatures. The former government agent Hunter comes to the bank and tells that the vampire zombies had been contaminated by an experimental virus developed by the government through the subjects that have escaped from the laboratory, attacking people in the New Moon to feed themselves. The group joins force to survive to the massive attack of the creatures. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Plot Keywords:

bank | heist | trap | chase | undead | See All (34) »

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The perfect heist...the wrong night.

Genres:

Action | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

7 August 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bank of the Dead  »

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Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
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1.85 : 1
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References Psycho (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I Am Legend for the hip-hop crowd.
13 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

Story Synopsis: Ex-soldier Ackson is getting tired of the babysitting jobs his boss, the rap mogul Hustle, gives him, intending to quit for a better lifestyle. Hustle agrees, promising to give Ackson one last job. Meanwhile, a group of young hoods are planning a heist, working on a tip from an imprisoned uncle who was a master bank robber, targeting a banking depot in a small town south of Miami. They approach Hustle for support, Hustle agreeing to the deal on two conditions – they must give him a sizable cut of the profits & they must take Ackson along for insurance. Arriving in the town, Ackson tells the gang to lie low in a motel while he cases the bank. But the hoods, being the impatient boneheads they are, hit the bank while Ackson is still inside. As is expected with all rush jobs, the plan goes awry with the robbers shooting a cop in cold blood & their getaway driver panics & flees with the car. But that is not the worst of it – once night falls, an army of the undead stages an assault on the town.

Film Analysis: Sometimes you just don't know which direction a genre will go. After coming back to life in the early 2000s, the zombie film has produced some pretty wild combinations. There have been films about zombie soldiers, zombie cops, zombie vigilantes & so on. But until 2007 there has never been a film about zombies & hip-hop. Before I continue, I must admit that I'm not a big fan of the whole hip-hop / rap scene. In saying that, I don't mean the gritty urban poetry of the late Tupac Shakur or even Eminem's clever self-depreciating lyrics. I mean the whole gangster rap genre, with various untalented rappers trying to glorify a life where women are treated as objects, pimping, illegal substances & drive-by shootings are seen as fashionable things to do & so on. Here's a tip for those hip-hop stars: if you want to make it big, try holding down a good blue-collar job & support your various families by renouncing gang life & stop treating women as sex objects – they are human beings too.

Dead Heist is a rather strange mix of horror film & crime flick, with a group of bank robbers trapped in a bank with an army of zombie-like vampires roaming outside. As far as plot goes, it is really an uncredited adaptation of the classic novel I Am Legend marketed for the hip-hop crowd. In that regard it is hard to fault. But what really stands out about the film is the fact that horror & hip-hop don't go too well together. One of the most notorious attempts in this field was Da Hip Hop Witch, an extremely infantile filmic experiment where a bunch of rappers (including a young Eminem) would tell off-the-cuff improvised stories about encountering a witch, their stories being completely nonsensical & unintentionally hilariously inept. And the less said about the later Leprechaun sequels, the better.

While its marketing might be hard to fault, what makes Dead Heist strictly a mediocre film is that the film doesn't do anything other than to put a cast of young hoods in a tough situation & have them deal with it solely by acting tough, shooting at anything that moves & overusing F-words. There is no innovation here (despite the novelty value of the plot) or even cohesive filmmaking, just a routine zombie film.

Which brings me to the zombies. The creatures shown here are not exactly zombies – instead they are generic undead. Their traits are quite interesting – the creatures come out at night & only on a new moon; they can only be stopped by a shot or blow to the heart – but don't make any sense biologically. Particularly their weakness, which brings them closer to being vampires than zombies. Director Bo Webb mishandles the action scenes a few times, most notably in the climax where the survivors take on the dozens of 'zombies' by shooting their pistols wildly & swiping away with their knives – this is probably the least convincing (& most flatly directed) human versus zombie fight in the whole of the 2000s.

On the acting front, the cast give some okay performances, in particular D.J. Naylor, who manages to get the mix of hard-headed professionalism & perpetually-annoyed irritableness down perfectly, making a pretty good hero (for a white boy!). Traci Dinwiddie makes a nice heroine as the female deputy while Zach Hanner makes the most of his limited role as the bank manager. As for the black members of the cast, E-40 does the usual stereotypical role of the rap mogul who plans criminal acts while making lesbian porn on the side while rapper Big Daddy Kane actually does a good job as the ex-government mercenary who has hunted the creatures since the beginning.


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