Friday, September 24, 2010

Braiinnnn Dead: Dead & Deader

To laugh or not to laugh, that is the question.  Today's film asks this question in sort of an odd way.  Basically, this 2006 film has many elements of comedy, as well as violent deaths and shooting.  So, is it a comedy?  Most of the bits come completely out of nowhere, add nothing to the plot and then just sort of happen.  That's right- nearly every joke here is a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment!  Never mind that the premise is ludicrous as hell and doesn't really make a lick of sense.  Oh yeah, the film also stars Dean Cain, a man whose career peaked and crumbled in about a four-year period of time.  He played Superman on Lois & Clark and, once that was cancelled, went right into hosting Ripley's Believe it or Not!  Sure, he's worked a lot since, but nothing can really allow you to recover from something like that.  There's also something else you should know.  There's a rumor that this film actually started out as another film- House of the Dead 3.  Seriously, this might actually be a real thing.  In 2006, a press release was made about their being a third film in production and then, lo and behold, this film was released by Starz.  Smells fishy to me- what about you?  Regardless of what it was supposed to be, it's weird as hell.  Get out your giant stun gun for my review of...
The film begins in pure bad-movie territory by showing commandos approaching a shed.  Obvious sound-stage, much?  They invade the place and find...a bunch of dead guys and a cage full of scorpions.  I didn't know that corpses kept collections.  A mutated man comes out of a closet- you're supposed to do that to your parents!- and throws out a grenade, setting up the credits.  In the present, Dean Cain wakes up on a military slab about to be cut open.  Needless to say, he's not happy about that.  Let's throw in some dead guy comedy!  After that nonsense, Cain freaks out and cuts his arm, causing a scorpion to pop out.  Fatality?  He goes to leave the facility, but is taken to see a doctor.  She runs through a list of reasons why his existence makes no sense, while also questioning how he is alive.  Could you explain anything?  The nurse and him go to the kitchen when a report about one of his fellow soldiers came to life.  They run into the black chef, who is a bit confused as to why the guy is bleeding green and trying to bite him.  In the melee, the lady is bitten and ends up killing the other doctor in the room.  Cain kills the soldier, while the chef kills the lady by putting her head in the ceiling fan.  I think the screenwriter needs to watch Mythbusters!
When a room full of dead bodies is found with the two men inside, they obviously are arrested.  Cain convinces the other man that they must escape, since the other soldiers are out there.  Yes, let's keep those...scorpion-infected soldiers...who have come back to life.  My brain hurts already and we're like twenty minutes in!  Speaking of the soldiers, one of them is on a convoy and kills the soldiers, but only after they pointlessly-make jokes about something.  You have more big lips than a factory that makes wax lips!  The pair of now-ex-soldiers find the truck abandoned with nobody around.  Those zombies are neat and clean!  They head to a bar for a drink and flirting with a woman at the bar.  By the way, this bar also has one stripper in it.  Why?  Were the others just on break?  Unfortunately for them, the people in the bar decide to hold them hostage for the reward money.  Yeah, they put that on the news...within a span of a day.  Unfortunately, the zombies from the truck earlier arrive...later and lay siege to the bar.  Since the men were locked away, they survive and are set free by the woman.  They kill the zombies in a bloody battle, which also has some random comedy thrown in.  Oh yeah, the cops show up to arrest them, but they escape.  Hurray?
There's a lot of shit to cram into this last paragraph, so let's be brisk, people!  They go to find one of the soldiers, meet his fat wife, get a ride to where his body is- only it's not there, but one of the Lone Gunmen is.  After that cameo, they get caught by some weirdos who were apparently doing research with the things.  They do experiments with Cain after coercing him with threats of killing the fat wife if he doesn't.  Yeah, they kill her anyways.  The zombies get loose in the facility and things turn to shit.  I could ask why the people set them loose or how this all occurred, but I really don't care at this point.  We see the black guy get killed, only he actually survived by climbing in a grate...while attacked by zombies.  Sure- why not?!?  Watch for the needless bit between Cain and the woman in which they compare the two versions of Dawn of the Dead- whatever.  Most of the bad guys die by vicious zombie attack, but one Chelsea Handler-looking lady is accidentally shot by a comrade.  With the villains dead, our heroes lure the zombies somewhere and blow them up.  The day is saved...although Cain is still a zombie and will turn if he doesn't eat meat.  I'm just saying...
This movie is not nearly as good as it thinks it is.  The film attempts to be three things: funny, scary and exciting.  The zombies are generic, the jokes are randomly-placed and the action is generic.  So, what does the film actually do right?  The zombies- while generic- are well-made and the make-up work is effective.  Some of the jokes are pretty funny- I just don't get why they're here.  I mean, this movie does not commit to being a comedy, only throwing it in randomly.  Make a comedy or don't make a comedy!  PICK ONE!!!  If the rumor about this being a sequel to House of the Dead & being turned part-way into this are true, it would explain some things.  Why do zombies come from infected scorpions?  Why did Cain taking the thing out make him not a killer, but still immortal?  Why do the other people turn into zombies?  Does the biting kill the people and make scorpions appear in their arms?  You know what, I don't care.  I'm sure I'll get some flack for this, but I didn't like this movie.  I see what they were going for- at times- but they failed.  This mess is even more confusing than the random cameo by the guy from The Lone Gunmen.  Why cast him for a three-line part?  Ugh.
Up next, the final Blockbuster Trash of September brings us a sequel to a David DeCoteau film.  Without him at the helm, the men keep their shirts on...but it still sucks.  Stay tuned...


  1. And to think -- I had given up hope on this one after seeing it in every used bin imaginable. I'll give it a rent, but only if there will be cheap, cheap laughs.

  2. Cheap laughs, eh? Well, you've definitely come to the right place for that. As far as actual quality, I can't promise you much.