October 12, 2010 (US DVD)
Joshua Benton as Clarence Singer
Sarah Grant Brendecke as Sherry Morgan
David Crane as Bob Jules
Andy Forrest as Reverend Farnsworth
Alexandra Goodman as Interviewer
Only in a horror movie could this set-up occur: A local troublemaker in a small town is handcuffed to a violent killer in the sheriff’s office awaiting a move to high security prison. It appears that the local law enforcement dislike this guy enough to treat him like a hardened criminal in spite of his crime being simple reckless driving. The transfer goes wrong and the two “convicts” escape. Meanwhile two sorority sisters are lost in the woods, one of them fending off advances by the other, who is a man-hating butch lesbian. At about the same time a televangelist with “sinful thoughts” about his well endowed female follower has a car wreck that leaves the two of them stranded in the wilderness. Through their different twists of fate all six of these folks wind up together in a small fishing cabin with no phone or food – at the mercy of the crazed killer who has a shotgun.
There’s one other part too, as if this weren’t recipe for disaster enough… nearby a man fishing is accidentally struck in the forehead by a tiny meteorite that plows into his skull, depositing a black slug. The man promptly turns into a zombie monster that proceeds to crack his fishing buddy’s skull in half like a nut and consume his brain. The zombie then roams the countryside in search of people to puke black tar on so he can turn them into zombie monsters too. As would be expected, the zombie monsters find the cabin housing the fateful 6. All hell breaks loose.
Brain Dead has a TON going on, as you can see. Intermixed with all this is a whole lot of crazy gore including heads shattering like terracotta pots and a multitude of unlikely social interaction and banter between the captive cabiners. Overall Brain Dead is entertaining and fun, if not a bit confusing and implausible. I know, “implausible” is an interesting complaint to use when discussing a horror movie, but at times the implausibility of this film will test the will to “suspend disbelief” of the most passionate Horror Freaks around.
Brain Dead is very fun in the gore department as heads crack like walnuts to expose delectable brains for the zombie monsters to feast on. The zombie fist through the face is especially nice. The characters are developed well enough to know a bit about them, and that makes the whole thing more fun too. There is one thing that drove me crazy about Brain Dead though. Maybe a little thing, but still… Okay, so you know when the end of one scene becomes the beginning of another? Like the crash of a wave at the ocean becomes the splashing of a car’s tire going through a puddle in the next scene? This technique is used in this film – a lot! It was pretty funny and cute the first, say, 50 times that particular scene-transition technique was used, but then it crossed the line of just doing it because you can. Let’s face it, if Mariah Carey were to do an entire song at a pitch that can only be heard by dogs and farm animals, it would be boring as crap. Just use that capability at a particular time to make a point. That’s what should have happened withBrain Dead – use this cool scene-transition hook a few times, but not between every single scene!
Okay, rant over. That’s not an issue that kills the film or anything, just sort of drove me crazy. Wasn’t a long trip.
At the end of it all Brain Dead is pretty fun with good gore and an interesting, if convoluted, story. As with most Independent horror films, there is a certain audience who will appreciate them and another who will not; this one is a good candidate to assist in the transition to Indie Lover.