A zombie comedy romance – sound familiar? Okay I know what your thinking, but DeadHeads is so much more than the American Shaun of the Dead or the new Zombieland.
Providing its own original take on the overdone undead genre with its throwback style which evokes comedy-adventure movies of the 80’s, Deadheads is a hilarious heart felt indie film which will have you laughing harder than a zombie eating a clown.
In a town taken over by a zombie outbreak, Mike (Michael McKiddy) awakes to find he has been inexplicably transformed into one of the undead – except he is smarter than the average zombie and is somehow still able to think and talk.
Driven by a deep desire to find his teenage sweetheart Ellie (Natalie Victoria) rather than snack on human organs like the rest of his kind, he bumps into Brent (Ross Kidder) another compos mentis corpse who joins him in his journey across the country to find Mike’s long lost love.
Meeting a whole host of quirky characters along the way, and picking up Cheese (Marcus Taylor) who unlike the daring duo is not a brainy zombie but more of a traditional brain eating zombie, the gang must fight against decomposition, detachable body parts and government agents out to get them – all to prove that true love never dies even if it does look like death warmed up.
Written, produced and directed by the Pierce Brothers, DeadHeads is a movie inspired by their childhood spent growing up around the making of The Evil Dead, as their father did all the special effects photography for Sam Raimi’s seminal scare-fest.
Although The Evil Dead is an obvious influence, DeadHeads takes on a lot more, borrowing from and innovating within the genre with plenty of in-jokes, cultural references and gory gags which will keep all horror fans happy.
The set-up of the film itself is one of the most interesting and original elements – starting the zombie story after the outbreak has taken hold, where most movies would end. It’s good to have a film which focuses on the aftermath and answers the question ‘what happened next to the animated meat sacks?’
What really sets the film apart from the masses of boring, brain-dead zombie movies that have flooded the market in recent years is the strong story and script. DeadHeads’ brilliant undead characters are really brought to life by the excellent cast.
McKiddy and Kidder make up a hilarious slacker double-act, with Mike’s ‘straight man’ shock at the situation perfectly set against Bret’s eternal optimism and love of life (even now its over).
Natalie Victoria does a great job playing up the love story side as Mike’s living love, never letting their scenes slip into schmaltz. Taylor’s cheese is the most likable zombie since Bub from Romero’s Day of the Dead, while Benjamin Webster’s government sanctioned side burned sicko is hilariously hateable.
Switching seamlessly between horror, comedy, action adventure and romance the film never looses focus or the audiences attention which is a true achievement especially as this is the Piece Brothers first major movie.
With great and gory special effects, touching and moving moments, entertaining action and lots and lots of laughs this is feel good film where people get eaten alive.
A truly original take on the zombie genre and a must see for all horror fans DeadHeads proves there’s definitely still life in the undead.