There used to be time when any movie ending with “… Of The Dead” was a) directed by George A. Romero and b) an instant horror classic.
These days, however, this is no longer an exclusive Romero trademark and even his own productions now are just faint memories of better times.
Dance Of The Dead does not have any direct connections with Romero, yet can’t help but pay homage to the Zombiemeister’s oeuvre… or, to be more precise, to John Russo’s and Dan O’Bannon’s Night Of The Living Dead follow-up of sorts, Return Of The Living Dead.
For when the dead come to life again in a cemetery next to a faulty power plant, prom night is coming to an abrupt halt and all the local high school’s beautiful students depend on the support of their geeky outcasts to help them make it through the night.
Dance Of The Dead is a funny, riotous and ultra gory take on the zombie genre that was given an R certificate in the States. It also is derivative, clichéd and without an original bone in its body.
Yes, it is nice to see Sci Fi Club nerds finally be the heroes in a horror movie but the novelty of this is short lived as they nevertheless end up making the same decisions, right or wrong, as any other group of horror survivalists and meet up with the same kind of redneck vigilantes, misunderstood rebels and prom queens.
Though it’s always is fun to see the gore cranked up to the nth degree, this has been done much better and more effectively a few decades ago in Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste and Brain Dead. Here, the jokes are entertaining in a very short lived kind of way.
I caught myself chuckling quite a bit but, due to time constraints, needed to see the film in two installments. When I picked up where I left off I was surprised just how much I had already forgotten about the characters or the events.
This is a pot pourri of gory zombie gags that have all been done before. I wish I could give some examples, but I’ll be damned if I remember. Mind you, there was a French kissing zombie scene that did stick in my mind long enough to mention here. Oh, and zombies are mysteriously controlled by music played by some Blink 182 wannabes, which is a nice touch and reminiscent of Dawn‘s original take on the undead’s fascination with supermarket muzak.
There’s nothing much in terms of extras on this DVD, just a couple of deleted or extended scenes and not a trailer in sight.
Still, Dance Of The Dead is an okay and entertaining view. And far far better than anything Romero himself has recently come up. Plus it’s available cheaply from Amazon UK.
In actual fact, if this drops just a little bit further this would make an awesome Mystery DVD. But as it stands, this is an average but entertaining take on the ever popular zombie lore.