Stag Night of the Dead
April 5, 2012 (U.S. DVD)
Sebastian Street as Dean
Sophie Anderson as Candy
Joe Rainbow as Ronny
Mike Busson as Number 48
Rez Kempton as Sanjay
Stag Night of the Dead is an interesting take on the days after a society successfully fights off the zombie apocalypse and gets on with ‘normal’ life.
Most of the films addressing the coming zombie apocalypse focus on the devastation of the world as a ragtag band of survivors struggle for survival in a land that has become deadly and polluted with lumbering rotting corpses. But… what if it doesn’t go down that way? How about a scenario where humanity survives and beats down the zombie masses so that normal life can resume for those with warm blood and beating hearts? Perhaps a few zombies would remain, but those can be put to good use… a shooting experience with zombies as the target – ‘Zomball’ Baby!
Dean is ready to get married to the girl from Hell – and even the state of the world and the remnants of zombie apocalypse around not be deter him. The fact that his fiancé is a complete nightmare is not enough to stop him either. There has to be some shred of doubt in his mind about the coming nuptials though, because when he is sent by the future bride for a few wedding accouterments, he joins his buddies (and a stripper) for a rousing game of Zomball instead. There aren’t a whole lot of rules in Zomball, a kind of painball game where zombies are shot with stun guns, but there is one that shall never be broken: “Never humiliate a zombie”. Of course, that rule is broken by Dean and the party boys pretty early on.
One by one the stag night buddies are picked off by the zombies, emboldened and made angry by the breaking of the golden rule. Will Dean survive, and what secret lies at the heart of Zomball?
Stag Night of the Dead is pretty confusing and difficult to keep up with. Actually, as the activities were transpiring on the screen I had to seek out a summary online to know what I was watching. Once I had that overview it made sense, but for me that little push was very necessary. The acting performances are fine, in a cheeky British sort of way. Dry humor, high irony and conversational banter are the style of both the script and the performances, and it works fine. Nothing or nobody stands out as particularly brilliant or effective thought – just a bunch of British blokes chatting it up really. Simple.
Unfortunately the film just never achieves a coherent story that is particularly engaging. There’s a bunch of stuff, then some weird zombies, then people get killed, then some other stuff. This film isn’t torture to watch, but it’s not overall enjoyable either. Stag Night of the Dead is just kind of there, as so many cheaply made indie films tend to be now that the barriers to entry (money, training, talent) are so low. Indie fans will do well to pass this one by and look for the next hidden gem on the list.