Notable Cast: Michael McKiddy, Ross Kidder, Natalie Victoria
Review: A slapstick romantic comedy about coherent zombies? With my doubts in check, I’d give it a try. After watching I could easily determine the sales poster is a terrible mis-representation of the overall film atmosphere, finishing with much less use of weaponry, actual fighting, and zombie eradication. The focus of Deadheads rests heavily on the lost love of a fresh new zombie, and the road trip shenanigans two undead friends encounter. The plot is stretched like a rubber band about to snap, weighing heavily on coincidental explanations from characters to push ahead. The production felt like DeadHeads could have almost been preceded by American Pie Presents:, minus a few quirky scenes that save Deadheads from being lowered into the depths of a straight to DVD spinoff bin populated by American Pie name duds. Not sure why I’m ripping into the exploitation of the American Pie name while reviewing a zombie movie, but in an unrelated note DeadHeads is pretty average.
When Mike Kellerman (McKiddy) awakes with a lapse in memory, he doesn’t know what to assume. In the middle of nowhere, he struggles to decipher why he’s surrounded by abandon cars and sickly looking “people.” But after meeting up with fellow out-of-place walker Brent (Kidder), it becomes evident that both are lumbering undead goons who inexplicably can communicate and function like people…despite their rotting corpse bodies. So what are two bored zombie people to do? Well, the last thing Mike can remember is going home with the intention of proposing to then girlfriend Ellie (Victoria), and after some three years Mike is determined to at least tell his one love how he really felt. With Bret’s help, Mike hopes to visit Ellie one last time, but survivor heroes and corporate thugs stand in between a zombie and true love. We hit the road with Mike and Brett, unraveling the mysteries that face the two. Why can they talk? Why can they think? Can a zombie love? Can a person love a zombie? Can a person make love to a zombie? We’ll let’s not go that far….
“Hmmm…you don’t look so good…” No, they just look dead. Really dead. Since when do sick people look dead?! #horrorcharactersmightaswellbezombiesthemselves
DeadHeads doesn’t dwell on the dark side of zombie films, and makes light of the otherwise apocalyptic scenario. McKiddy and Kidder get to play goofy characters who become friends based on unlikely circumstances, and their chemistry is passable enough to be considered entertaining. Their zombie mannerisms could put friendship into place by rescuing each others limbs or taking bullets for one another, so we at least get a funny take on the extremes friends are willing to go to. As a mortal being, I’m not letting my arm get torn off any time soon, but hell as a zombie I’d surely…errr…probably give up lefty for a few minutes if it saved my other zombie bro. True zombie pet Cheese (Markus Taylor) was a funny little addition to the friends as well, playing lap dog/protector to Mike and Brent. But it’s hard respecting the other characters who are nothing but overblown character stereotypes never found in real life but always lurking in our cinema. Zombie clean up crew worker McDinkle (Benjamin Webster) is a mindless macho adrenaline nut just itching to kill any zombie that moves, and his dialogue is of course riddled with repetitive cursing and gross metaphors lacking any creativity. He’s funny for a portion of the film, but the shock value laughs become less and less as the vulgar lines become more and more repetitive. Emily (Eden Malyn) fills the void of innocent squeaky voiced nerd overstressed with work who becomes flustered by anything. She on the other hand was completely annoying 100% of the time, and her character was nothing but an overused cliché. The rest of the cast all fall into the same bad replaceable characters: a villain so immoral he’ll kill anyone just because he feels like it, a hero so cool nothing seems to phase him and he never falters in the slightest, and a polar opposite sidekick to contrast McDinkle’s in your face attitude. Acting is definitely not a strong point of DeadHeads, as our main characters traverse a road populated by characters we’ve been introduced to time and time again.
In describing the plot, there’s no better word to use than silly. The comedy is rather childish at times, using gags that could be found in a teen comedy. Like you would humor the creepy guy wearing the high school mascot costume at your tenth reunion party? Not to mention if there was a zombie under there, you wouldn’t smell the rotting flesh? The zombie theme walks a thin line, drawing some funny comparisons from other zombie flicks, but ultimately is underused. Coming first is the romance and bromance. But as stated, the biggest problems came in the form of “too good to be true” story telling. Pieces fall together too perfectly and the connections are obvious. Not to mention the happy-go-lucky ending throws all convention out the window and makes little sense. Sure, the zombie gets the girl, but wouldn’t hooking up with him be the most vile, revolting, and vomit inducing experience for Ellie? Wouldn’t she be considered for having a necrophilia fetish at that point? And why do the bad guys just give up? The Pierce brother’s script tries something different by putting a romantic Hollywood ending on a zombie piece, but maybe there’s a reason few have tried.
I think it’s safe to say at this point I’ll take my romantic comedies zombie free. I guess I’m just not a progressive enough thinker to accept a zombie and person being in love with one another, mainly because I’ve never found a corpse attractive (not creepy at all) so it’s hard to form that connection with the character. DeadHeads isn’t all bad though, offering at least some zombie carnage and a good amount of chuckles throughout. It might be the best way to easy a squeamish girlfriend into the decaying world of zombies come to think of it. More of a buddy comedy than horror comedy, I’ll always be sure to make sure any undead can’t communicate before I lodge two bullets between their eyes. Never know, might meet a new undead friend!
Final Rating: 6 mousey assistants out of 10
Note to self, need mutton chops to rock aviators….