Writer of Horror Fiction

Review of the movie: “The Dead”

The Dead is a zombie movie made with the traditional fan of George A. Romero’s work in mind.  This story offers nothing new to the zombie genre from the standpoint of the undead.  In fact, it goes old school, with slow moving ghouls that require damage to the brain to put them down.  For those fans who prefer their zombies fast moving, like you find in movies like Resident Evil, 28 Days Later, and the remake of Dawn of the Dead, this tale might seem agonizingly slow.  For those who love the older Romero flicks or who consider themselves equal opportunity zombie fans who love all rotters no matter what speed they move at, this one is worth checking out.

The premise is almost painfully simple.  Air Force Lieutenant Brian Murphy is a survivor of an airplane crash that was supposed to be the last plane out of undead-plagued Africa.  After a narrow escape on the beach where the crash occurred from numerous zombies closing in, he makes his way inland in an effort to find safety and perhaps an airfield with a plane that he might be able to fix up to escape.  His journey is filled with an endless supply of the undead-for the most part they are spread apart enough that there are no hoards to deal with.  Individually, these slow moving monsters are easy to handle or avoid, but when Brian is forced to stop for any reason, they begin to methodically swarm his position and rapidly become a major menace.  After he manages to get an old, beat up truck running, it becomes clear that the dead are popping up everywhere, which makes it virtually impossible to stay in one place for very long.  It’s at one of these times when Brian is forced to stop and almost gets torn to pieces by a steadily growing pack of the undead that he is saved by Daniel, a soldier who is looking for his son who managed to escape the massacre of their village by the undead.  The two men agree to join forces to find Brian a plane and to get Daniel closer to where he believes his son might be-with other soldiers in an encampment to the north.

The Dead is a moody, atmospheric piece that uses the rural African environment to full advantage.  For what seemed like a relatively low budget film the cinematography was well done and the special effects were more than adequate.  There is no complicated plot or massive character development here, but for the most part, less is more in this tale.  Except for a couple of scenes filled with hordes of the undead destroying everything in their path, even the zombies were sparse, showing up as they do in dribs and drabs, until there are more of them closing in than someone can handle, when just seconds before they thought everything was under control.  This is one of the most low-keyed, subtle zombie flicks I’ve seen; definitely worth checking out for most zombie fans out there.

The Dead can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Rob-Freeman/dp/B006BZ8NXY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1330155218&sr=8-3

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