Gregg Bishop's 2008 high school zombie movie DANCE OF THE DEAD (part of the Ghost House collective) was supposedly written ten years prior, before the recent undead boom. Maybe that's why it feels so tired and familiar, because I know I've seen this plot before.
In a concept we've seen in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DORKS and BOY EATS GIRL (with the same results), the living dead have risen to feed upon high school students at the prom. And wouldn't you know, the only ones who can save the day are the unpopular geeks that couldn't get a date--had this happened to me when I was in school, I'd have let the zombies eat the motherfuckers, but I'm an anti-social sort. And while I liked the semi-twist of having the phys ed instructor helping the boys, the plot still reeks of desperate wish-fulfillment.
Bishop's directorial style is superficial gloss and flash, but it's never strong or distinctive enough to distract from the well-worn storyline--though there might be enough gore to keep people interested. Instead of trying too hard to be funny, Bishop should've focused on a sense of anarchy, a balls-to-the-wall mentality that would've complemented this picture so much better.
Occupying that gray area between not-bad and not-good, DANCE OF THE DEAD is the type of high-school tripe where you know upfront exactly who'll live and who'll die. Maybe if I'd encountered this earlier in the project I might've been a little more charitable, but by this point I'm simply tired of seeing this plot.
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 was scarier.