Walking Deceased, The (2015)
Starring Dave Sheridan, Joey Oglesby, Tim Ogletree
Directed by Scott Dow
The Walking Deceased, a parody of AMC’s monumentally successful series, is actually a mock-up of recent zombie fare in general. The main construct of the characters and plot are modeled after “The Walking Dead,” but the zom-com Warm Bodies is also lambasted with almost the same frequency. Expecting a lackluster joke-a-thon akin to the tedium found in the abysmal Freidberg and Seltzer films, instead, The Walking Deceased is a lot funnier than it should be.
Following a Sheriff (Dave Sheridan) from a hospital of horrors to the brain-stained streets outside (just like Rick in the actual series), the search to see if his family is still alive ends abruptly when he finds his son, ranger hat intact, pouring bad drinks and managing a zombie stripper bar. An early scene where Sheridan breaks down with a case of over crying after a stripper’s tit is bitten off is some of the first evidence that The Walking Deceased has some genuine laughs in its, admittedly, limited arsenal. After hooking up with a group of rag tags including a fake Darrell (whose crossbow is so tiny it should probably only shoot suction cups), the group holds up at (you guessed it) a remote farm to prepare to take on the zombie horde.
Certainly not on the same laugh-a-minute level as entries like Club Dread, there is a real, tangible sense of camaraderie among the no-name cast that work off each other like a newly formed comedy troupe that’s still feeling each other out. The chemistry is there and because of a number of well placed jokes and organic line delivery, there really are some genuine laughs throughout The Walking Deceased despite its obvious low budget shortcomings. A group of fantasy nerds inventing a new iteration of LARP called ZALARPING, or Zombie Apocalypse Live Action Roll Playing, and zombie heads exploding as they’re forced to wrap their brains around the plots of Cloud Atlas and Inception are standouts that make the barely 80-minute running time go by even quicker.
Sure, The Walking Deceased is pretty forgettable when it’s all said and done, but it has that charming, homegrown B-movie appeal that even the most jaded horror fan has learned to embrace in order to squeeze out some joy out of the schlock wasteland we’re used to wading through.
Shockingly, as the outtakes begin to play during the credits, you might not mind your pant legs being a little dirty after wading through the filth to find this floating on top. A parody was bound to happen sooner or later and the quality of AMC’s powerhouse trickles down to elevate The Walking Deceased a little above the line between the unwatchable and the “Hey! This is actually pretty good” level. Surprised? Me too.