Saturday, August 30, 2008


I'm not sure why I'm even bothering. There's not a single thing about the 2007 indie film DEAD MOON RISING that I haven't written about, and you haven't seen, before. Following the Do-it-Yourself Guide to Cookie-Cutter Zombie Filmmaking to the letter, writer/director Mark E. Poole's maiden effort isn't even distinguished by its ineptitude, not bad enough to stand out from the rest of the shot-on-video muck.

Now, when it's too late, do I realize I should've written a template review and just changed names accordingly; it would be less of a hassle than reiterating the same laundry list of complaints, though not as much of a chore as sitting through the movie itself.

Let's see if I boil the premise down to its barest minimum: Plague. Zombies. Trapped survivors. Yep, that about covers it. Anything more would be redundant.

DEAD MOON RISING commits the same cinematic sins as most micro-budget films, most importantly a screenplay oblivious to such concepts as tempo and rhythm, but lumps in the usual suspects. We've got feeble attempts at humor, a bland, charisma-challenged cast (including an especially anemic lead), and not the barest shred of anything original. (Poole seems to understand how well-versed his audience will be, presenting his "this is how the plague spreads" montage without sound; yet rather than rehash for the umpteenth time something we've already seen, why not take a chance and try something new?)

Instead Poole gives us unwanted exposition in the form of a fourth wall-breaking narrator with all the personality of a fence post (if information isn't or can't be given through the course of dialogue it's either not necessary or a badly-written script) and a BARB WIRE-inspired action babe that plays her part laughably straight-faced.

Only one thing about this film impressed me, and that was the frightening number of extras Poole corralled for his finale. Seriously, my graduating class was smaller than this group. It's an awe-inspiring sight to see the frame filled with so many zombies; of course, they go criminally underutilized, but by that point you're resigned to as much.

Skip this one, and you've missed nothing.

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