Directed by Mathias Dinter
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
It’s almost that magical point in time again. Time for a trend that was once white-hot to become ice cold. I speak of the zombie sub-genre. Just three years ago you simply could not make a living dead flick fast enough. Fans were (pardon the pun) eating them up. There are still a few on the horizon to look forward to like Diary of the Dead, but I can’t help but feel that zombie movies in general (while I love them) have all but worn out their welcome.
The latest one to come across my desk is Germany’s Night of the Living Dorks, and truth be told, it’s actually very watchable. Well, at least the fourteen-minute long alternate ending is. But before we get to all of that, let’s tackle the story.
As you can imagine, there’s really not much to it, but for the sake of doing things right …
Three high school nerds end up hanging with the wrong clique and as a result become members of the living dead. From there our trio start to enjoy the finer things in unlife. After all, being dead does have two distinct advantages — They no longer feel pain, and they now possess super strength that they can use to even the score with the resident jocks. Joy! Just as our protagonists begin to revel in their new deadstyle, reality smacks them right in their faces as they begin to rot.
Can our zombies save themselves, or will they be forced to fall to pieces?
As I am sure you can guess by the title alone, this film is more comedy than it is horror. In fact, it’s very much in the vein of American Pie complete with oversexed humor and sappy love angle. I was kind of disappointed that what started out as a cool little zombie flick ended up feeling more like a romantic teen comedy.
And hey, where was that really nasty looking zombie pictured on the inner DVD insert? I’ll tell you where …
While watching Night of the Living Dorks‘ special features, I came across a fairly long alternate ending. One that dramatically changed the look and feel of the film. Here, my fellow freaks, was where most of the real zombie fun resided. Had this ending been part of the real film, this flick would have been so very much better. Even with the unfinished effects it’s light-years more fun than the lovey-dovey drivel we’re spoon fed. It breaks my fucking heart. What were the filmmakers thinking?
As you might expect, there are two audio tracks presented here: the original German track (with English subtitles) and a horridly dubbed English version that mimics the old Godzilla films in terms of their absurdly bad acting and context. In retrospect, those may have been better. For an added treat try watching the English track with the English subtitles turned on just to compare. Man, a lot was lost. The German translated track’s humor was way more subtle than the seemingly ad-libbed and riddled with potty jokes English one. Thanks for dumbing it up for us, guys. Why not just add a commentary track with Uwe Boll repeating the words “Stupid Americans” ad nauseam? Ugh!
Night of the Living Dorks is a mixed bag for sure. It’s almost as if it were two different movies. If only we were given the option of selecting the ending we wanted before starting the movie, I’d be way happier. Sigh.
Rent if you’re curious. Buy if you’re a completist. Everyone else steer clear.
Deleted and extended scenes
Fun scenes (gag reel)
3 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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