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August 8, 2012

Movie Review: Dead Season (2012)

Directed by Adam Deyoe

Starring James C. Burns, Scott Peat and Marissa Merrill

A worldwide viral outbreak leads to a plague of hungry zombies scouring the earth in search of human flesh to consume. Amidst the chaos and rubble of what is left of the country, two people make radio contact with each other. Soon after they meet up, Elvis, Tweeter and her young friend devise a plan to escape and hopefully make a new life somewhere in safety.  They travel to Florida, meet a shady character and eventually get their hands on a boat. Map in hand, they motor out to sea in search of an island.  Once they find one, they soon realize not only is the island infested with the undead but there is also a group of survivors residing there which they are forced to join up with.

It isn't long after that they begin to realize that zombies are the least of their problems. A tyrannical militant leader and his band of way too shady henchmen are forcing Elvis (James C. Burns) to perform unspeakable acts in the name of survival. Eventually, Elvis and Tweeter (Marissa Merrill) decide to kidnap the leaders daughter and make a run for it. From here the insanity level ratchets up as the three make a mad scramble for safety, with the undead and some really pissed off militants hot on their heels.

This one was actually a surprisingly fun movie that captured the feel of an apocalyptic world pretty well for a low budget film. One of the things I found most intriguing about it was the emphasis put on the struggle of moral ethics in a world where all the rules have changed. This struggle led to two of the films best scenes, one in which Elvis is forced to kill a young boy who has been infected and the other where he is convinced by the leader of the islands survivors to butcher an uninfected straggler while he is still alive, so his meat can be used to feed them. Strong stuff which played out pretty well.

As far as zombie movies go, its got basically everything a fan of the genre is looking for. Likable lead characters, menacing villains and no shortage of shambling ghouls. Thankfully, no CGI was used that could be noticed and the bloodletting was pretty gratuitous. A very respectable dose of dismemberment’s, beheadings and intestinal-feastings were scattered throughout the film. The pacing was pretty decent and I got the feeling that the film makers were actually familiar with The Zombie Survival Guide book, as many of the basics pointed out in the book were displayed in the movie.

A nice touch I thought, something true zombie aficionado’s will appreciate. My only minor gripe with the film was that it was a bit predictable and there were no real surprises as the movie wound down to the climax. But the good far outweighed the bad with this one. Its a solid zombie film with plenty of blood & guts and even some riveting drama sprinkled in for good measure. It’s not a classic but it for sure rises above the fray of the average-to-below-average zombie heap that's out there. If your a fan of The Undead then your gonna want to get your hands on this DVD, its a keeper.

7 out of 10   Reviewed by KennyB

*Filmmaker Commentary
*”Making Of” Featurette
*Deleted Scenes
*Outtakes & Trailers

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