The Walking Deceased
March 20, 2015
Tim Ogletree as Green Bay
Dave Sheridan as Sheriff Lincoln
Joel Ogelsby as Chicago
Troy Ogletree as Romeo
Sophia Taylor Ali as Brooklyn
Film parodies come in three different types. There are the absolute classics like theAirplanes and The Naked Guns (and apparently most everything from the Zucker brothers) with gems like Spaceballs, Galaxy Quest and This is Spinal Tap rounding out the very best in this niche genre.
Then there are the okay/average films like theScary Movie franchise and the Hot Shots films.
And then there are the lower forms. They’re not complete garbage, but they don’t quite make the most of their ripe source material. The Walking Deceased wins a spot in this last category.
A group of mismatched people who have survived the zombie apocalypse band together to find the “Safe Haven Ranch”, where they believe they will find safety and isolation from the ravenous hordes of the living dead.
It’s clearly a comic take on the uber-serious AMC show, The Walking Dead. Now that I’ve stated the obvious, let’s move on.
It follows the same route as the first two seasons of the hit zombie show, starting in a hospital (Dave Sheridan as Sheriff Lincoln wakes from a coma in a billowy and open-backed hospital gown – giving us several delicious shots of his bare ass – something we would have liked from Andrew Lincoln as well) and ending on the aforementioned, peaceful “Safe Haven Ranch” – at first free of the walking dead (excuse me, the walking deceased). The ranch’s clueless, bible-beating old couple, Abraham and Sarah (Richard Lukens and Martha Prentiss) and their carefree, dope smoking daughter Isaac (the squeaky-voiced and loveable Jacqui Holland) add to the already varied mix of characters. You’ve got many of your beloved characters from the The Walking Dead here, in one form or another – doppelgangers for Darryl, Andrea (and her doomed sister), of course, Rick, Lori and Carl. And Abraham and his non-belief in the undead is a by-the-book version of our much-loved Herschel.
Many other zombie films of note are also skewered here. You’ve got several characters holed up in a mall, two Brits in a strip club – wearing familiar clothing (one in an “I Got Wood” t-shirt and the other in a white button-up shirt with a nametag on the pocket), a cute young zombie with a red hoodie (Troy Ogletree) – contemplating life, death and love – all in his inner monologue, and an on-going joke (in the tradition of “Snake Plissken – I heard you were dead”) about this red-hooded zombie’s name, “Romeo” – and everyone believing his name is Romero. “Like George?”, and finally, a batch of loud fireworks set off – referred to as “sky flowers” a la Land of the Dead.
The thing is, these inside jokes are fun to catch, but all of the dialogue jokes? Well… We’re treated to flatulence jokes, rape jokes and other obvious bits which had me shrugging my shoulders. Sure, you’ll catch these other jokes, but they won’t tickle your funny bone. With the exception of a few guffaws, most of the jokes just don’t hit their mark. One small and subtle joke about the amount of time Green Bay (the adorable Tim Ogletree – who also wrote the script) will be allowed to spend with Isaac is a hoot. But frankly, a few worthwhile chuckles, do not a classic horror parody make. Had all of the jokes succeeded as well as the good ones, I may well have been writing a very different review.
But I must take a moment to mention Sheriff Lincoln’s (Dave Sheridan) constant flubs when addressing his young son, Chris (Mason Dakota Galyon) – by calling him the familiar name of “Carl”. Of course, it’s spoken in that Rick Grimes/Andrew Lincoln growl, making the name sound like “Coral”. Brilliant. There are several other Rick Grimes moments, as Sheridan over-emotes at the drop of a hat. Good stuff.
The make-up effects were all good — specifically the chewed-up face of one of early zombies dispatched by the Michonne-inspired character – a dude known only as “Mysterious Wanderer”, played by the dreamy Trenton Rostedt. But the effects are certainly not Savini-esque in their power, scope and imagination. I doubt they were meant to be.
There are no scares to be had here. It’s always nice when horror comedies can also instill some fear – and it is possible even in the most ludicrous of comedies. Just don’t expect any “boo” moments in The Walking Deceased. These zombies are not scary.
The fact that so many things in the film distracted from the jokes, didn’t help them reach their goal. I was much more fascinated by the apparently abandoned mall where they shot a large portion of the film. With all of the recent photographs on the inter-webs, showcasing these rundown, former sites of shopping glory, it was tough not to focus on how cool this location was! And it seems they had free reign.
And in a lengthy pot-smoking sequence (totally outstayed its welcome), the majority of the actors were actually smoking something, while one character’s exhale was added in post. This may be picky, but it’s the little details like this that can so easily remove you from what’s happening on the screen – especially when you weren’t that drawn in to begin with.
A few good laughs and some charming character impressions can’t keep this film from falling right into the “this film will immediately leave your memory” category.
I won’t stop you from seeing it (how could I?), but I don’t necessarily want to stop you.
I don’t believe I’ve ever been this wishy-washy on any film. That may be over-stating it. Or maybe it’s not. I’m not really sure. See The Walking Deceased… or maybe don’t.Film parodies come in three different types. There are the absolute classics like the Airplanes and The Naked Guns (and apparently most everything from the Zucker brothers) with gems like Spaceballs,Galaxy Quest and This is Spinal Tap rounding out the very best in this niche genre.