Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
The Walking Deceased: Shamble Hard, with a Vengeance
is clear why Sheriff Lincoln survived the zombie apocalypse. He doesn’t have
any brain for them to eat. Yes, that name is supposed to remind you of another zombie
killing lawman. Despite taking a few respectful potshots from other franchises,
this zombie spoof is to The Walking Dead what
Galaxy Quest was to Star Trek and Space Balls was to Star Wars.
The body count is also true to the spirit of the original source material when Scott
Dow’s The Walking Deceased (trailer here) shambles into select
like Deputy Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead (and Bill Masen in Day of the
Triffids), Sherriff Lincoln wakes up from a coma to discover the world has
largely ended. After an awkward meeting with ne’er do well survivors Chicago
and Green Bay, Lincoln sets out to find his long neglected family before
hopefully rendezvousing with the small moronic band of survivors holed up at
the shopping mall. Oddly, that is one of the very few hat-tips to George Romero’s
Living Dead series, which got the whole
zombie party rocking in the first place. However, it cribs more liberally from
zombie rom-coms like Warm Bodies and Life After Beth with Romeo, the
sensitive zombie, who falls for hot-headed hottie survivor Brooklyn.
he seems to be getting better, the squabbling band reluctantly accepts him into
their ranks. He still has difficulty communicating, but he serves as the film’s
voice of reason through his interior monologues. He will duly trundle along
when the group heads off in search of Safe Haven Ranch, because they did
something similar in The Walking Dead.
so the humor in Deceased is usually
pretty crude and dumb. Nonetheless, it must be granted Dow and screenwriter Tim
Ogletree really know their Walking Dead.
Unlike the hopefully abated plague of spoof movies so generic they literally
had the word “movie” in their title, Deceased
genuinely wants to send-up zombies and not whatever else happens to be
playing in multiplexes.
surprisingly, Deceased is decidedly
uneven. Nobody will ever mistake it for Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit, but at least it is not afraid to be rude. In fact,
the film generates a surprisingly number of laughs when it lets the
dysfunctional characters tear into each other. Honestly, the cutting dialogue
will exceed expectations (logically assuming they are on the modest side coming
in). Dave Sheridan boldly doubles down on buffoonishness as the Sheriff, while
Joey Oglesby and Sophia Taylor Ali bring the sharp-elbowed attitude, as Chicago
and Brooklyn, respectively. Unfortunately, everyone else’s one-note
characterizations wear thin over time.
Look, we’re talking about a meathead movie here.
It is dumb, but sometimes amusing and often quite bloody. It does not pretend
to be much more, but that is still more than most mash-ups deliver. If that is
enough for you, The Walking Deceased opens
today (3/20) in limited markets and also launches on iTunes.
Labels: Movie Spoofs, Zombies