Roll Call of Thanksgiving Dead

Awaken the DeadIf you like low budget zombie movies, then this is going to be a November to dismember (editor’s note: ugh) for you with a new direct-to-DVD zombie flick getting released every week of the month. Now how many of them will prove to be worthwhile and which will prove to be Thanksgiving turkeys remains to be seen. Let’s run them down week-by-week.

AWAKEN THE DEAD (November 6th): It’s a dark, grainy, gritty, apocalyptic yet often hilarious redemption tale. Awaken the Dead is a zombie film that is equal parts espionage drama, dark comedy, and undead action. Two lost souls must band together as a virus infects the world around them. Christopher, a former killer turned priest battles his own inner demons while Mary, a spirited recluse, battles the world. Thrown together, neither knows what brought them there or what is changing the neighborhood around them. Their search for answers forces them to confront hidden truths and a web of conspiracy. The ensemble cast includes a terrified Jehovah’s witness, an over the top ex-marine and his wife, two Asian Schoolgirls, and a massive killer pimp. It is a story of poetic justice, moral growth, cynical laughter and zombies.

Though I am generally dubious of anything from Brain Damage Films, one need only to click over to the film’s official website and see a plethora of positive critical review blurbs from a who’s who of genre review sites. Sounds like it might be worth checking out. Brain Damage will Awaken the Dead via DVD on November 6th.

RISE OF THE DEAD (November 13th): In the quiet town of Dudley, Ohio, an army of zombies sets their sights on beautiful local Laura. As she attempts to avoid the legions of undead beasties and stay alive, the flesh eaters wreak havoc throughout her sleepy community. Unable to help–or be helped by–her loved ones, Laura must take a final stand against her brain-eating tormentors or face becoming one of them.

Rise of the Dead is being brought to us from Lionsgate and we all know that they never release cheap crappy horror movies. The film reportedly clocks in at a staggering 72 minutes. I would say the good news is that means if the movie stinks to high heaven any pain it causes won’t last long, but then I just reviewed a Lionsgate DVD release called Pirates of Ghost Island and it ranked amongst the longest 75 minutes of my life. Rise of the Dead arrives on shelves on November 13th.

Awaken the DeadZOMBIE TOWN (November 20th): When mysterious parasites begin transforming the residents of his quiet community into murderous zombies, mechanic Jake struggles to figure out how to survive. Joined by his ex-girlfriend and a gun-carrying rival, he attempts to make it out of town and somehow find help. But can Jake and his associates possibly escape from the undead creatures?

I see … So this zombie flick also tosses in a little Night of the Creeps/Slither action, huh? Seems this one has already hit shelves in Australia judging by the comments on IMDB that range from fun to not very good to “I turned it off after 35-minutes”. The movie was produced by Edgewood Studios and if you know that name then you know you can expect two things: a lot of eye-rolling tongue-in-cheek humor and it being filmed in Vermont. I stumbled on a trailer for Zombie Town on YouTube that confirms both. MTI releases Zombie Town to DVD on November 20th.

DAY X: As a mysterious outbreak transforms the general populace into a throng of marauding, flesh-eating creatures, eleven strangers find themselves trapped in an abandoned steel mill. One of them, the enigmatic Frank Chambers, is accompanied by a comatose white-haired girl who may be the key to revealing the horrific truth behind the infection. Time is running out, and the end is nearer than you think!

Okay, so technically this one owes more to 28 Days Later than conventional walking dead zombies – I still put them all in the same category. The good news is that advance word on Day X is that it’s actually fairly decent. Image Entertainment will be releasing Day X on November 27th.

The Foywonder

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Jon Condit

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