Thursday, November 6, 2008


The gods be praised, this is the last micro-budget shot-on-video hack-job I'll have to review for this project. Hopefully, it'll be the last one I'll ever see, but that's probably too much to ask. Regardless, this 2005 feature from director William Victor Schotten--who also delivered the slightly better SABBATH--is the same uninspired, unoriginal schlock we've seen time and again, complete with muffled audio and murky, snuff-flick quality videography.

Like a lot of these movies, DEAD LIFE chronicles the boring small-town life of a group of slackers (a thuddingly appropriate illustration of "Write what you know") whose world gets shaken up when yet another virus-borne zombie rampage hits their community. And while others have taken this same tired premise and juiced it up, DEAD LIFE opts to intercut long, aimless scenes of wandering zombies with one pointless conversation after another.

Sloppily edited with clumsy direction (even a scene involving a bitten-off dick registers no impact) and a meaningless, redundant death metal soundtrack, DEAD LIFE is a home movie masquerading as a feature. There's some decent gore to be found, as well as some black-and-white nightmare footage that's a desperate stylistic ploy, but it's just as poorly handled as the rest, and you have to wade through the snail-paced "story" to get to it.

Lacking energy, skill, or rhythm, DEAD LIFE is not worth the trouble. At least Schotten showed a little improvement with his follow-up; perhaps by movie #5 he can show some real strength.

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