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After 20 years in the making, ‘The Dead’ is dead on arrival

Courtesy of Global Cinema Distribution

You don’t have to love baseball to enjoy the recent box office hit, “Moneyball,” but to enjoy The Ford Brother’s new zombie road trip flick, “The Dead,” you have to love excruciatingly slow and predictable movies.

A zombie movie set in the beautiful, yet treacherous deserts of West Africa tells the story of how two determined men look past their cultural differences to fight side-by-side to survive a deadly zombie apocalypse.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Brian Murphy (Rob Freeman) finds himself stranded after washing ashore as the sole survivor of a plane crash. He soon joins forces with Sgt. Daniel Dembele (Prince David Osei), who is searching for his son after he disappeared when their village was overrun by the flesh-eating zombies.

Before I disembowel this unrealistic and dreadfully boring movie, I will highlight the one small element of it I liked.

Unlike your typical Hollywood movies, “The Dead” was shot on 35mm film, which delivered the characters as actual living, breathing beings. This kind of medium gave the movie more depth which ironically resulted in providing the undead with a sense of soul.

Now for the gore. From the beginning, the plot dragged and had little sense of direction. The first 20 minutes of the movie was an absolute waste of time — scene hopping and devoid of dialogue or character development.

Someone on the film crew must have thought it was a good idea to go to Halloween USA and purchase a surplus of perfectly severed, wholly intact arms and legs to sprinkle around the set like icicles on a Christmas tree.

The best scene of all came at the end when Murphy — delusional, starving and suffering from severe dehydration — suddenly flipped the script and transformed into super-ultra-samurai-ninja-Viking warrior and began to feverishly hack and slash a hoard of zombies like a scene taken straight from a smelly and deranged “Braveheart.”

For a project that the directors said took roughly 20 years to complete and the recent explosion of the zombie sub-genre, you would think they could have come up with something with a little more continuity and plausibility.

 

Grade: D

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