Dance of the Dead (2008)
Reviewed on 2009 April 29
I normally think horror and comedy mix like oil and water, but sometimes you get the mix right and wind up with something that’s more entertaining than it has a right to be. This movie fits that category. It’s silly, gory, and knows not to take itself too seriously or get too stupid.
It’s prom season, and the students at a small-town high school are gearing up for the big dance. Everyone seems to be excited about the Hawaiian-themed prom, except Jimmy (Jared Kusnitz) a smart-mouthed but still likable kid who doesn’t take anything seriously. This drives his best girl Lindsey (Greyson Chadwick) crazy. The misspelling on one of the prom banners is enough to make her eyes roll back in her head, so when slacker Jimmy confesses he didn’t even get a corsage for her, that’s the last straw — she’s going with a fellow member of the student body divinity, and Jimmy can stay home with the Science Club nerds. What neither the nerds nor the beautiful people realize is that the nearby nuclear power plant is reanimating the dead, and the rising zombies are going to go for the partygoers like they’re a midnight buffet on a cruise ship.
This sets itself up from the beginning as campy horror movie: the reaction of the gravedigger (James Jarrett) to our first clue that the dead aren’t at rest is classic. The other thing that sets it apart is that none of the characters are the typical horror movie monster fodder — they’re entertaining, even the class bully. It’s not Cannes Palme D’Or stuff but if this is your sort of thing, it’s a lot of fun.
Three chocolate morsels.