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The Dead Hate The Living – 7

Director – Dave Parker

Cast – Eric Clawson, Jamie Donahue, Brett Beardslee, Wendy Speake, Benjamin P. Morris, Rick Irwin, David Douglas, Matt Stephens

Release Year – 2000

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I really do not get why there is so much hate for this film.  It took me a long while to finally get to watching this piece, and after all of the negative reviews I decided to go into it with an open mind and thankfully was left with a positive experience.  Sure this film is low-budget, but when watching a film for what it is and forgiving certain monetary mistakes you can find the positives as long as the positives are there, as they are in this film.

This flick follows a group of young filmmakers who break into an abandoned hospital to make an epic horror film.  During the filming process they come across a dead body and decide to use it in their film; BAD IDEA.  They mistakenly bring the body back to life which inadvertently opens a portal to a dead dimension, therefore releasing many more undead into the abandoned hospital.  As they fight off the undead it becomes apparent that this is not the first time the undead have been unleashed in the hospital.  All of the escape routes have been blocked, and the young filmmakers must now resort to makeshift weapons as their horror film turns into a grisly reality.

I was pretty iffy on whether I was going to enjoy this film or not as the film progressed.  During the first half of the film we get no real scenes of horror and mainly just bickering between the actors and director.  Keep in mind this is also mixed in with some bad acting and mediocre dialogue.  However as the film went on and the horror finally kicked in halfway through the film it was a non-stop blast that had me greatly entertained.  The gore is there, the undead look awesome, and we get some pretty “battle royale”(not the film, but the wrestling match) style fight scenes between the remaining actors and the undead.

Writer/director Dave Parker did a lot with such a small budget and short shooting schedule.  Shot in only 10 days, you would never believe so if you saw this for yourself.  The production value is high, while the actual monetary value the filmmakers had was low.  Personally, I love it when this is the case and highly respect those who give their all to do a lot with very little.  The atmopshere for this film is awesome, and Mr. Parker chose some great sets to work with.  The claustrophobic feel of the old abandoned hospital was great and was bettered by the fact that our protagonists were locked inside with nowhere to run.  Need I mention how much I enjoy nowhere-to-run scenarios in horror?

We get several references to Sam Raimi in the film, and rightfully so given he was one who did much with very little with The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn.  Some refer to this film as a homeage, and I agree.  We not only get shout-outs to Sam Raimi but get many shout-outs to Italian “Godfather of Gore” Lucio Fulci as well as “King of Zombies” George A. Romero.  All of these shout-outs add to the fun of this film and are sure to please real fans of the horror genre who appreciate credit where credit is due.

Story-wise I was pleased to find that this did have a few developments I did not see coming, which of course came about during the much enjoyable second half.  If you can make it past the first half then congratulations because from there on out you will get what you were waiting for.  There is not too too much to this film, so don’t go in expecting to be wowed but instead go in with an open-mind and take in all of the fun and gory goodness.

Overall, this is a fun watch that I recommend to fans of the undead/zombie horror sub-genre and those looking to watch a fun and gory low-budget flick.  Watch this for what it is and you should come out with a positive experience as I did.

Rating: 7/10

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