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Dead And Deader
Title Dead And Deader
Description Review By-Paul Cooke, Director: Patrick Dinhut Starring: Dean Cain , Guy Torry , Susan Ward , John Billingsley ,Colleen Camp , Greg Collins , Peter Greene ,Natassia Malthe & Brent Huff / Source : Sci-Fi Channel
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Review By-Paul Cooke
Director: Patrick Dinhut
Starring: Dean Cain , Guy Torry , Susan Ward , John Billingsley ,
Colleen Camp , Greg Collins , Peter Greene ,
Natassia Malthe & Brent Huff
Source : Sci-Fi Channel

‘‘Some cold hands you got there soldier! What are you a lawyer ?.’’

Former TV Superman Dean Cain gets to flex his muscles against a super gene insect virus that turns its host into the un-dead, with a taste for human flesh. Even Lex Luthor would pass on this insane plan to take over the world, but resident budget bad guy Peter Greene sees profit creating a Zombie force empowered with the strength of many men. Slap the underwear on the outside of your trousers as its about to get messy, with the Sci-Fi channel delivering a slobber knocker of rare ribs and sticky red sweet sauce. All the right ingredients are thrown together in a mix of living dead Action, mercenary madness and cool as you like dialogue that knows its audience. This sure ain’t Shakespeare but it’s poetry in motion as far as made for television goes, and one humdinger of a crowd pleaser at long last from the Sci-Fi channel !.

Cain plays Lieutenant Bobby Quinn who heads up a rescue and reconnoitre mission in deepest Cambodia. What he and his small unit of men find is not only the remnants of American soldiers who came before them, but a messy malaise of experimental deviancy straight out of a Lucio Fulci flick. In a riverside ramshackle hut Lt. Quinn and his men uncover a breed of scorpion like insects that have been mutated and gene spliced with a formula that brings the dead back to life. Once these feisty little critters claim host to a human body they head for the brain, and like something out of a Robert A. Heinlein novel they become puppet masters. Quinn and his men are soon set upon by flesh eating former comrades, completely overcome by the Zombie toxicology, and a bloody and bodily dismemberment barrage ensues. The green / blue blood spews from the ravenous un-dead allowing the censor to turn a blind eye to the carnage on display, but its clear to see what’s being chow’d down and the chunks start to fly. It takes a terrified hidden survivor to bring the attack to a finality as he lops a grenade into the middle of the malicious mix with deathly accuracy. As the Zombies are obliterated all but Lt. Quinn lay completely dormant, that is all but the Zombie insect virus carriers scuttling for a warm place to inhabit !.

Bagged and toe tagged Lt. Quinn and his team are airlifted back to a military base in the desert. Quinn is quickly put on the cold slab in preparation for an autopsy, but when he comes too, even without a pulse, things start to get freaky. Mind you with doctor Boyce, as played by Natassia Malthe in a role just prior to her lead as Rayne in the ‘Bloodrayne’ sequel, a rise even from the dead is not altogether unexpected !. Quinn starts to recall events and senses a peculiar heightened sense of connectivity with his fallen soldiers who he reports as still being very much alive as well !. In a graphic scene of knife upon flesh Quinn is soon slicing open his own arm as a searing pain befalls him. Out pops one of the scorpion insects, only to meet with the flat side of Quinn’s army regulation boots. It didn’t complete its migration to the brain so Lt. Quinn, although one of the living dead, retains all his cognitive functions as well as the enhanced properties of extra strength and perception. The taste for raw meat however is very much a side effect he soon has to deal with and if his hunger is not satiated then anyone around him may become the menu !.

Quinn’s men start to reanimate and breach security as the medical staff fall victim to the flesh eating troop with some nicely done scenes of carnage. Throat ripping is a staple sight of Italian Zombie lore that has been overdone and mostly badly so by the inferior American market, but here at last we have some gruel that is worthy in its delivery. Decapitation soon becomes the recognised manner to halt the rampaging recently reanimated, and with kitchen cleaver and overhead fans being put to full use the brain matter soon starts to splatter !.

When you get the basics right there’s so much more that can be forgiven in a low budget movie and this little gem spills the bodily bits without ever engaging in unnecessary nastiness, whilst engaging the audience in buddy banter that brings about more than the odd smile. Quinn teams up with base cook Judson, played very humorously by Guy Torry ( Look out for a Thriller of a Michael Jackson bad dress day segment ) and self confessing movie girl geek bar babe Holly, once they go after the source of the creators of the Zombie virus. The hick bar scene is one of several Zombie attack scenes that spills the green, blue and red stuff aplenty. There’s something particularly amusing yet politically incorrect about championing a midget Zombie attack, but hey, kudos to the Sci-Fi channel once again for going the extra yard on this one.

So many of these Zombie homage flicks fail due to the poorly written dialogue and delivery of corny lines that make its audience wince in embarrassed recoil, here though we have a concoction of pure delight that gets the balance spot on. Not only does Dean Cain deliver a performance that shows he is having fun, but those around him are bouncing off him in so many positive ways it truly enhances the experience well above what could ever be expected. It’s one of those rare occasions where everything is thrown into the mix but the blender throws it all back out in a cohesive structure that has you waiting and wanting for more. Horror and sci-fi fans will delight in the movie references and there are so many oh so very subtle moments that will bring about a wry note of appreciation as nothing is over laboured or almost freeze framed upon to ensure the penny drops. One scene has our battling trio sneaking into an embalming room and on the side of one of the work surfaces they pass is a silver sphere. Clearly a reference to ‘Phantasm’ but its bare minimal appearance will only have meaning to fans of the movie, which is what fan favourite subtly is all about !. Honestly, there are so many ‘clever’ gags this is one of those to watch again movies to pick up on everything and still be entertained second time round.

Everything heads back to the military compound, and with the Zombie manifestation exploding Lt. Quinn and companions have to not only stop the outbreak reaching the outside world, but overpower the crazed goon and his scientific team before more of the insects can be created. It’s time to lock and unload with any weapon that comes to hand as the heroes take their stand against the dawn of the un-dead.

Romero rhetoric and movie moment memorabilia aplenty, the writers have done ‘Dead And Deader’ proud, as have the makers who clearly follow the script for optimum fan appreciation. At last a movie has been made with its intended audience in mind and delivers on merit !. A Fun filled time is guaranteed to be had by any Horror / Sci-Fi / Action loving Fan of the fantastical genre. Catch it on the Sci-Fi channel or pick up the Wide Screen DVD as soon as possible, settle in with a few friends and let ninety minutes of bloody raucousness reign down upon you like the exploding giant stay puff pastry guy. Who you gonna call ?, Dean Cain that’s who !. From Superman to fallen star, to resurgent ‘B’ movie main man, the resurrection starts here with ‘Dead And Deader’.

Film: 3.5/5 Super Stars

2008 @ Cinema Nocturna

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