aka Last Rites Of The Dead (Original Title)
118 min., 2006
Written by Marc Fratto
Directed by Marc Fratto
My rating: ★★
More polish would have made this movie great.
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The movie begins with a bunch of news reports on a zombie outbreak and society doesn’t know exactly what to do with them. You see these are a different type of zombie than the common ones. The only difference between “normal” humans and them is that they are dead. They can talk, work their normal jobs, they have emotions and they have retained all of their memories. So the government can’t decide exactly what to do with them. We then meet a woman named Angela (Gina Ramsden) who is cowering and crying in her bathtub because her abusive ex-boyfriend Josh (Joshua Nelson), is outside the door with a gun and he is yelling for her to let him in. He finally breaks down the door and ends up shooting her in the head. Finally coming to his senses he runs away and she crawls to the phone and calls 911. They show up but there is nothing they can do so she turns into one of the undead. We then meet some of Josh’s friends, Richie (J. Scott Green), The Gooch (Gaetano Iacono) and Malcolm (Constantine Josiah Taylor). They are driving around looking for some zombies to kick the crap out of. After they find one they finally get to meet up with the bad ass of the zombie hating community, The Commandant (Christa McNamee). While Josh and friends meet the anti-zombie people, Angela is now part of a group for the Mortally Challenged. Among them is Louis (Kevin T. Collins) who is very loud about his annoyance with the rest of the group, because they aren’t accepting who and what they now are. Will Josh and The Commandant find Angela or will Angela find a new life of peace with the mysterious Good Mother Solstice (Mary Jo Verruto)?
Now the acting in the movie is very amateur overall. I understand that there is a reason behind that, but most of the time it’s pretty hard to take what they do very serious. With that being said, the best of the bunch was Gina Ramsdan. She was really good at playing the girl who just wants to be normal and to be accepted even with her faults. One of my favorite things about her character and her acting is that even though she is treated like crap and almost killed, she still doesn’t want to kill anybody. She does a pretty good job of conveying her fear and shame about who she is while trying to keep everything inside. One the opposite end is Christa McNamee. Now I understand that the Commandant is supposed to be an asshole but most of the time motives are given. This movie doesn’t do that, but then again there aren’t many people that need a “real” reason to hurt someone else, and I understand that but she just seemed to be a real jerk without reason. Then again maybe that worked in the movie’s favor because I really disliked her character for everything she did. Then toss in Christa’s bad attempt at acting and you really get a character that is the worst of the worst.
The effects of the movie are on the same level as the acting, as in they seem very amateur. Most of the time you can see the effect before it happens, like a piece of flesh that is about to be bitten you can already see that it’s about to fall off. Most of the effects fall into this category, or they tried to use CG and it just didn’t look at all convincing.
The biggest problem with the movie is the amateur feel of the whole thing, which sucks because the concept is actually great. There are a few scenes in the movie that could have actually been very powerful if it didn’t feel so amateur. The actual storyline and the fact that a lot of different groups of people could be put in the same situation as the zombies could have had a very strong effect. One of my favorite scenes is when The Commandant, Josh and his friends are in the restaurant and their waiter is a zombie (wonderfully played by Ron Douglass). The Commandant goes off on him and the restaurant because she wants to know who would hire a zombie. She starts yelling hateful things about him having diseases and everything. Later The Commandant and her gang are shown beating him up and then killing him. It was actually very nicely written, but again it’s the amateur feel that killed it for me, kinda like the whole movie.Have You Read...?