Dead And Deader (2006)

DVD Cover (Anchor Bay)
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Overall Rating 47%
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Ranked #7,967
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After he's bitten by a scorpion carrying a zombie virus, a tough soldier survives the infection, becoming only half zombie. Once back in the US, he finds himself fighting his former comrades in arms, all of whom are turning into zombies! --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: April 30, 2007
Marvel Zombies was such an ingenious idea: seriously, I had preordered a couple of the action figures before I even picked up an issue of the comic (or "graphic novel" as they're called these days). Never one to let a good idea go uncopied, the Sci-Fi Channel picked up the ball and ran with it - only this time, it would be something along the lines of DC Zombies as we got to watch Superman himself turn into a zombie and do battle with the undead. Alright, so it's just Dean Cain playing an ass-kicking soldier, but you have to admit that it sounded better that way.

Indeed, Dean Cain plays the part of Lt. Bobby Quinn, a man who has been sent to "somewhere in Cambodia" in order to find out what happened to another group of soldiers who the military has lost contact with. He and his men arrive at the place where the soldiers were said to have been when they suddenly vanished, and what do they happen to find there? Oh, just a couple of dead bodies and an aquarium full of scorpions. Before they can figure out what's going on, a horde of zombies bust through the door, an event which leads to someone tossing a grenade in the middle of the room, killing everyone inside.

As the coroner back at the army base is about to do an autopsy on our "Super" star of the film, Bobby suddenly sits up and begins talking to the doctor. He now has no pulse or heartbeat, but it's sort of difficult to classify him as deceased when he's up and about with no sign of any physical ailments... well, no signs until something inside his arm starts wiggling around. He cuts open his arm and finds that one of the scorpions had burrowed into it, but since he got it out before it reached his heart (his rationale), he doesn't turn into a full-blown zombie. No, he only has super strength, amazing martial arts abilities, and Wolverine-like regeneration powers. Unfortunately for him, his fellow soldiers from that unknown location in Cambodian have become zombies that are more typical of the genre, and we all know the rules of the walking dead: one zombie infects two people, each of those two people infect two more, and it doesn't take long before there are massive amounts of them shambling about. Now, Bobby and a couple of pals - the wisecracking cook Hieronymous Judson (Guy Torry) and the sassy bartender Holly (Susan Ward) - must stamp out these zombie bastards.

Considering that this was yet another film in the ever growing pile of low budget zombie movies (and a Sci-Fi premiere, no less), I think it goes without saying that I didn't get my hopes up too high before popping this DVD into my player. However, it turned out to be a fairly decent film... well, for the first half of the running time, at least.

You see, it starts out like your standard zombie fare: the walking dead are spreading the disease, the hero of the day and his sidekicks have to kill them all off, and nobody with the authority to do anything will listen to this nonsense about zombies and infections. Sure, the idea of scorpions kick-starting this whole thing was an original touch, but let's call a spade a spade here: this was your run-of-the-mill zombie flick. However, it was a polished zombie flick with some good kills and a decent story to string them along, but right around the middle of the film, things started to fall apart.

It almost seems as though two different directors worked on this film, as the tone and style of the film changes quite abruptly. The first half of the movie features a few comedic elements (one-liners and such) and there are a few pop culture references thrown in for good measure, but it's still an enjoyable ride as its all balanced out with some good horror action. Then, the second half rolls around and it's nothing but the aforementioned one-liners and pop culture references. I have no problems with throwing those into a zombie movie, but moderation is definitely the key here; it seems as though director Patrick Dinhut realized that for a while, but then tried to cram all of the leftover material that he had lying around into the final chunks of the film.

I did enjoy the first half of the movie and the second half isn't completely unacceptable, but I can't help feeling that it could have been so much more with a little script rewriting. There's some damned good zombie action to be found here and the cast members are decent enough when they're not spouting off lame one-liners, so in the end, it's a tough call as to whether or not I should recommend it. Zombie fans who can't get enough of the genre would probably get some entertainment out of it, but everyone else should wait for two-for-one night. 6/10.
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