Wednesday, April 22, 2015

DVD: "The Walking Deceased" too witless and crudely made to parody properly

The Walking Deceased (2015) 
88 min., rated R.

Being billed as "a delightfully bloody addition to the pantheon of zombie-apocalypse spoofs," "The Walking Deceased" is about as delightful as "Epic Movie," "Meet the Spartans," "Disaster Movie," "Vampire Sucks" and "A Haunted House" (all would-be parodies) were as brilliantly funny as "Airplane!" or "The Naked Gun." Just kidding. The truth is, this lame-o spoof is thoroughly worthless and witless. Can you possibly guess what "The Walking Deceased" is lampooning? Come on, you can do it. Yes, AMC's "The Walking Dead," but also "Warm Bodies" and "Zombieland" with references to "Shaun of the Dead" and "Zombie Strippers!" (It boggles the mind why "Zombieland" would even be eligible to be sent up since that 2009 horror-comedy inventively skewered zombie-apocalypse tropes.) Recognizable, low-fruit-hanging targets aside, director Scott Dow and screenwriter Tim Ogletree (who also co-stars) don't know the first thing about what makes a spoof a spoof. Instead of twisting their targets with an original spin, they just rip off each movie and scrape the bottom of the barrel for intended jokes. 

The bare-minimum plot (not that we watch spoofs for coherent narratives) begins with Sheriff Lincoln (Dave Sheridan) waking up from a month-long coma to discover a zombie apocalypse. The sheriff cries like a baby upon being told that there is no longer any social media, except for LinkedIn, and then finds his 12-year-old son, Chris (Mason Dakota Galyon), as the foul-mouthed bartender of a strip club of undead dancers. Lincoln and Chris later meet up with survivors Green Bay (Tim Ogletree) and Chicago (Joey Oglesby), along with snappish Brooklyn (Sophia Taylor Ali) and her deaf 13-year-old sister Harlem (Danielle Garcia), shacking up in a shopping mall for their safe haven. Meanwhile, nice, internal-monologuing vegan zombie boy Romeo (Troy Ogletree) saves Brooklyn from being eaten, and the group takes him in as they make their way to another safe haven on a ranch. 

The one high point about "The Walking Deceased" is that it at least doesn't waste any talent. Save for Dave Sheridan (primarily remembered for playing Doofy in 2000's "Scary Movie"), all of the actors are no-names with less-than-adroit comic timing. Making a film is not light work, especially when first getting one's foot in the door, but director Scott Dow and screenwriter Tim Ogletree never get a hold of a tone and never find any sense of pacing for a spoof. Humor is surely subjective, but spoofing is an art and "The Walking Deceased" is just too artless to know that. From the sheriff blowing a non-zombie girl's brains out, to the same character relieving himself on the toilet (and for those who watch movies with subtitles, the sound effect is a "plop"), to the characters sitting around and getting high, the humor ranges from ugly to lazily unfunny. A gag-a-minute, light-on-its-feet lark is one thing, but "The Walking Deceased" is actually a chore to watch. To read the rest of the review, go to Diabolique Magazine.

Grade: D - 

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