TADFF 2011: DEAD HEADS Review
In the world of the zombie genre it is difficult to make a film stand out. Often having to merge genres together rather than playing it straight helps. By combining the elements of a zombie film with a buddy road trip film Dead Heads is a fairly accessible horror comedy movie for a mainstream audience.
Two inexplicably coherent zombies awake amidst a zombie attack and decide to take a road trip to find the one's lost love, unaware they are being chased by the agents of a ruthless company with its own agenda.
Dead Heads plays out like a buddy comedy from the 80s. Probably what convinced me the most is Benjamin Webster's McDinkle. Though I am of the opinion that this character is annoying and overbearing he is the 'Chet' to Mike and Brent's 'Gary and Wyatt'. Weird Science for those of you keeping score at home. Dead Heads has the right balance of the Zom and the Com.
The script from the Pierce Brothers is funny but it didn't make me laugh a lot of the times. Mileage will vary. But it is because the script allows the audience to endear themselves to Mike, Brent and Cheese that it works for this type of film. Mike and Brent are not so much zombies as much as they are simply not dead. So they can interact, muse and amuse and the audience wants Mike to get with Ellie in the end. The side story of the elderly Cliff taking his wife's ashes to one of their favorite spots also allows the audience to emotionally invest in the story as well.
It has all the right elements of a zombie film as well. There is the outbreak and the tough as nails anti-hero, Thomas, who gets caught up in the chase for Mike and Brent. Brett and Drew Pierce also use it to their advantage to enhance some of the comedic moments of film involving... limbs. But there is a decent amount of zombie action, enough to please the horror fans and not too much to keep away those looking for a decent comedy.
Good but not great,