Dead & Deader
Film: Dead & Deader
Director: Patrick Dinhut
Writer: Mark A. Altman and Steven Kriozere
Starring: John Billingsley, Dean Cain and Colleen Camp
This film begins with a unit of Special Forces that are sent to the jungles of Cambodia. The leader of this unit is played by Greg Collins and Dean Cain is a member as well. They are off to rescue some kidnapped scientists. Collins has to stop an argument between two soldiers.
They arrive at the place where the scientists were only to find that they are dead. There is a fish tank full of scorpions though. They are then attacked by zombified men and a scientist appears from a wardrobe. He throws a grenade. Everyone is killed except Cain, who has to call in for an evacuation. He doesn’t make it either.
Back in the United States, the coroner is starting the autopsy for Cain, this man is played by Armin Shimerman. As he goes to cut open Cain, he wakes up and asks what he is doing. Shimerman checks his vitals to see that Cain is indeed dead. Cain then has a horrible pain his arm and cuts it open to find a scorpion. It is killed.
Another doctor is in a shower, she is played by Natassia Malthe, and she is called down to the coroner’s office. She finds Cain alive and that his wounded arm has already healed. It is then decided to find the other bodies of the men in his unit. Malthe tells them that the ones there are scheduled to have been cremated already. Cain tells her that they haven’t, because he can sense them. They seek out the other soliders. The coroner in the other office informs them that they haven’t been, he is played by John Billingsley, but he also can’t find the body either. Cain also meets with the man in charge of this army base; he is played by Kirk B.R. Woller, who doesn’t buy Cain’s story.
The film then shifts us to kitchen where Guy Torry is making dinner. The missing soldier is now a zombie and he attacks Torry. Cain, Malthe and Langdon help him, but Malthe is bit. She turns and bites Langdon. Cain and Torry dispose of the zombies, but they are taken into custody for murder.
We then see two soldiers in a truck, played by Affion Crockett and Jamie Kaler. They are debating James Bond when the body bag in the back opens to reveal another zombie. It attacks them causing them to crash.
Cain and Torry get away and need to find the soldier’s bodies that didn’t come back to the base. They find the crashed truck and continue on to a roadside bar. Cain is half-zombie, so he is stronger than he was when he was alive, but he just has to have raw, red meat to stave off his hunger. The rest are full-blown zombies.
Inside this bar, we meet the bartender played by Susan Ward. The men in the bar lock Cain and Torry in the cooler thinking that they are psycho killers like the news said. They are freed by Ward when a bunch of soldier zombies attack the place. Cain, Torry and Ward take care of them, but then the police arrive. They fight their way away from them and flee.
They have to change into disguises that make them look like 80’s pop singers and they go to the house of a soldier’s family. They aren’t home, but they meet the neighbor, played by Colleen Camp who was keeping an eye on the place. They have to find his body before it is too late. It is supposed to be at the funeral home, but it has been taken elsewhere.
The four are then kidnapped by a group of mercenaries under direction from Peter Greene. He has Ellie Cornell working with him. Greene seems to know what is causing this and is still studying it. What role did they play in Cambodia? Can they control what they created? Can Cain and his group survive? Will they be able to stop the zombies before they spread too far?
I want to preface this by saying that I love zombies and their films when they are done correctly. This one has it good moments, but they are far and few between. I don’t mind the concept of the infected scorpions starting this virus. It is a little bit different which in a genre where things are done repeatedly; it is good to see something new. This film does have a lot of beautiful women. Malthe, Cornell and Ward are all gorgeous so that helps my rating for the film, especially with Ward in her bra and panties for a bit. I also love all the film references and the debates that they cause. These are debates that I’ve had myself so it is fun to see them brought up and rationale they employ for their stance.
The biggest gripe I have about the film is that the zombies seem to be super strong. Now if they are going more for an infected from 28 Days Later concept, that would make sense. This film has them as zombies, which would be a corpse of rotting flesh which would mean they would be weaker as their tissue deteriorates. I also hated the concept that Cain is a half-zombie because he stopped the scorpion from reaching his brain. Why would he be the only one to wake up before it did and know to stop it from getting there? This seems also like a convenient way for him to be the hero. I also hated that when some zombies died, a scorpion would appear from their body. This doesn’t make sense because one wouldn’t just appear in the body after you turned. It makes sense that one could be in the all of the bodies of the soldiers in Cambodia, but after that there shouldn’t be. Of course we also have everyone making the horrible horror film clinches that end up killing a lot of them. My final thing will be, I get that Cain is good looking, but I’m surprised that Ward is willing to fool around with him, especially with him half-zombie. Her character clearly doesn’t care about the repercussions that could make her into a zombie.
Now with that said, I would not watch this film. The acting isn’t good and the story isn’t all that much better. I liked the concept that this all started from infected scorpions, but didn’t like how it played out. There are some good looking women in this film, but it was a made for television film so there is no nudity. The closest you get is Ward in her underwear. If you love film and debates, this one does have a lot of that which I enjoyed. The zombies don’t come off as realistic and that bothered me. If you like bad horror films, then I would recommend this. If you want to see a good zombie film, then I would definitely avoid this one.
My Rating: 3 out of 10