DeadHeads & Legend of the Bog

Posted: 11/14/2012 in Movies
Tags: , , , , ,

DeadHeads

Zombie Movie Night: November 2012 started with the zombie-comedy DeadHeads. I had been meaning to watch this one for quite some time, as the premise seemed good and the trailer showed promise. Maybe I should have waited a little more, because, unfortunately, this one’s a dud.

THE GOOD: DeadHeads seems to have had a decent production value. It looks good (which, for zombie movies, means that it’s not shot on video in someone’s backyard). The zombies and make-up look good, the actors all seem capable, but in the end there just seemed to be a lot of questionable decisions made.

THE BAD: One of those decisions was to have the slacker side-kick speak in a high, nasally, annoying voice. (That can’t be Ross Kidder’s real voice, but I suppose I’d have to rent The American Poop Movie to find out, and that certainly doesn’t seem worth it.) But Kidder’s voice isn’t even the worst in the movie. The lead villain delivers every single line as if he was the world’s worst pro wrestling interview. Every time he spoke I wondered who the hell allowed him to deliver all of his dialogue that way? Where was the director, where were the producers? Someone please make it stop.

Those are really minor grievances that probably could have been overlooked if not for the fact that DeadHeads simply is not funny. Just about all of the jokes fall flat. The movie can’t even be enjoyed on a campy level. Bad horror can be funny. Bad comedy is just bad comedy.

THE ZOMBIES: The two lead characters are intelligent zombies. I like this concept if done well (read Zombie, Ohio). With DeadHeads though, it’s just not fleshed out enough. There’s no explanation as to why the two leads retain their humanity. The standard zombies in the film cause havoc and eat flesh, but there’s no conflict for the leads as they appear able to eat others, but are not driven to. Even their semi-intelligent zombie buddy is able to restrain himself pretty well without explanation. The only real difference for them seems to be that they’re a bit dirty and the main character’s arm keeps falling off. 

DeadHeads actually could have benefitted from including more zombies. They appear to be taking over in the beginning, but don’t make any appearances outside of a pretty good scene where they decimate a local bar. Threat Level: 6

VERDICT: DeadHeads had some promise, but failed in too many key areas. The most egregious sin is that it’s a comedy that isn’t funny at all. Grade: D

Current ZMN Rank: #81 out of 93

Golden Zombey WatchIt would seem that a movie with two zombie lead characters and another heavily featured zombie would be a shoo-in for Outstanding Zombie, but I can’t see a nomination there unless the field is really weak. It does feature a song with terrible lyrics, which always makes for a good Soundtrack nominee. It’s also the first true comedy of the season, it may hold on in that category too. It also may be the first candidate for Worst Ending.

Legend of the Bog

Hoo-boy! I sure do love me a good misleading poster. This one would seem to indicate that it’s a movie about Vinnie Jones, typecast badass (X-Men 3, Snatch, The Condemned) fighting a Predator-type monster who posts skulls on pikes in a swamp. (Though I suppose it’s better than the spoilerific poster found on the movie’s imdb page.)

While it’s true that Legend of the Bog has Jones playing a badass in a swamp, that’s not really the heart of the movie at all. (I also don’t think he uses a machine gun at all, as seen above). Bog is really more about a group of seemingly random strangers in Ireland who all end up lost in a bog that has a history of ancient rituals. Each stranger has there own dark secret, including Jones, whose cabin they end up crashing in. Outside the cabin are “Bog Bodies”, who for the purposes of this review, we’ll call zombies. The zombies are people who have met their end for some reason or another within the confines of the bog. One of the lost strangers is an archeologist who is kind enough to explain to everyone that people who die in the bog are stuck in a state between life and death. They also appear to be pissed off about it.

THE GOOD: Legend of the Bog may not be a “pure” zombie movie, but it is a pretty decent movie. Jones delivers what you’d expect as the mysterious zombie-hunting badass. The rest of the actors give good performances, though one has an Irish brogue so thick that I could only make out half of what he was saying. The movie effectively mixes together some elements of suspense, humor, and even includes some scenes that create sympathy for “Bog Body”, the lead zombie.

THE BAD: Some character actions don’t make a lot of sense, not that that’s anything new in the horror genre. If you had car trouble and found yourself lost in a haunted swamp in a rundown cabin, what’s the first thing you would do? Probably set the table for dinner and take a shower. No? Well, that’s what these folks do. What’s worse is that the film contains a gratuitous shower scene with no nudity. What’s the point, I ask you?

THE ZOMBIES: The opening scene shows Jones taking out a couple of very zombie-ish Bog Bodies. We learn later that they’re people who have returned from the dead. Zombie enough for me! After that, our lead zombie is a bald dude who reanimates and spends a lot of time running around angry and confused. He doesn’t seem much like a zombie as he’s fully formed with no typical zombie decay. He actually seems to have more in common with a typical mummy, but this ain’t Ask Me About Mummies. Legend of the Bog gets the zombie stamp of approval by a pretty slim margin. Threat Level: 7

VERDICT: Bog loses a few points on the ZMN board for being only a quasi-zombie movie, but it’s a decent watch. It falls in the mid-range, Grade: C

Current ZMN Rank#53 out of 93

Golden Zombey WatchThere’s a strange moment involving Vinnie Jones’ boot right at the beginning of the movie. It may qualify for WTF Moment or Bizarre Zombie Behavior. Having a B or C list actor on the roster certainly increases a movie’s chances of making the ballot, so I’d look for Jones to make a run at Best Supporting Actor. And while he’s not incredibly zombie-like, Bog Body may compete for an Outstanding Zombie nod.

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