Dead Serious (2005)
Reviewed by Nomad
Starring Charlie Accivatti, Tom Cahill, Marcus Cliff, Paul Coughlan, Brian Gianci, Carson Grant, Jack Halpin, Felissa Rose, and Michael Weingartner
Directed by Joe Sullivan
So, the tagline for this film is Outnumbered, outgunned, and completely outfanged! It's really upfront to anybody with half a brain that it’s a movie about vampires. Apparently I am mentally handicapped because when the first vampire showed up, I groaned, “Oh, damnit," the reason being that I was really enjoying the film without the involvement of vampires.
The story focuses on a bunch of Bible Belt Christian rights people that decide to invest in a cure of sorts for homosexuality. They hire mercenaries to take over a gay club and then on a semi populated night lock it up and experiment on each of them with their new drug process in front of a live television audience. Creepy, heady stuff, right? This film could have been the next Hostel -- or the first Hostel whichever way you want to spin it -- but unfortunately the vampires reared their fanged mugs.
Now some of you are probably saying, “Hey that sounds awesome!” And rightfully so. Vampires are cool. Not as cool as zombies or anything, but cool nonetheless. But for me, when I’m watching a low budget film with vampires, I can’t stand it. It’s just too easy. Pop in some fangs, put the fake blood in your mouth, put mouth on the shoulder of a victim, and drool. The ever-so-cliche vampire gets punched, only to whip its head around and hiss at its attacker scenes didn't help much either! How many times have we seen such a vulgar display of power? Hey! I just referenced Pantera out of nowhere! I'm awesome! What was I talking about again? Oh yeah . . .
Low budget vamp fests may not be my thing, but the title of the film alone kind of screams Just have fun! The audience I was with was having a good time. People were laughing with the movie, not at it, and at times Dead Serious even succeeded in winning me over. Thanks to some inspired scenes, I managed to overcome my preferences and turn off my brain. It was tough at times, but I persevered. Some of the actors had great delivery, and the story kicks in quickly so you don’t have to wait around half an hour for anything cool to happen. The makeup and set design are also worthy of mention. For a low budget film, a lot was done with a little.
The enjoyment came from the setting as well. Dead Serious was showing on a Monday night at the Two Boots Pioneer Theatre on the Lower East side as part of a monthly event called One Dark & Stormy Night. This is a really great event in which movies and shorts that may not ever be screened elsewhere get a neat little theatrical run. It’s important that these little films get their due and that some movie houses will show them. Even if it's the worst horror film ever, the audience and the vibe would guarantee it would still be the best film you could possibly see that night. I would rather have fun at a really bizarre low budget screening than be bored by a super-mega-budget pretty looking shitfest any day of the week. That's not to say that the One Dark & Stormy Night promotion is showing bad films; just making a point.
I’m not sure what the future holds for Dead Serious. It may make a few more rounds on the indie circuit, or maybe it'll get shot straight to DVD. Either way, check it and films like it out! Despite its shortcomings it is a fun little movie with enough gore to keep the masses satisfied. The smaller cinema arts should be supported by any means necessary, if only to give the finger to Hollywood for spite.
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