Brett and Drew T. Pierce (known in directorial unison as The Pierce Brothers) have attacked the played out zombie sub-genre with a raucous comedy called Deadheads. Their backgrounds stemming mostly from art and special FX jobs, this all around debut is everything a beer drinking 20-something year old would want outside the perimeter of seriousness. It’s a zombie-comedy. It’s a road trip film. It’s an action-adventure. It’s a gore flick. And it’s a love story. If any one or more of these is your bag – then Deadheads is probably going to be a solid sit through for you.
Deadheads takes off immediately as Mike (Michael McKiddy) wakes up amidst a zombie outbreak – as one of the undead! He’s apparently been killed from a bullet wound to the head. Wondering WTF is going on, he bumps into Brent (Ross Kidder) who accidentally killed himself via auto-asphyxiation (masturbating while strangling himself). They hit the local yokel bar up the road for some beers, when Mike finds an engagement ring in his pocket that never found its way around Ellie’s (Natalie Victoria) finger. He begins to remember that he was head-over-heels before the world turned to shit. Brent agrees to hit the road in the name of true love, and brings along a total doof zombie named Cheese (Markus Taylor) he meets along the way.
They run into a ex-Vietnam vet named Cliff (Harry Burkey) who is en-route to Lake Michigan to spread the ashes of his late wife of 30 years – “the best damned whore in Saigon” as he fondly reminisces – and they escape the quarantined town. The only thing standing in their way of reuniting Mike with his lost love are a band of zombie-killing bounty hunters led intensely by Thomas (Thomas Galasso) – who’ve been missioned to retrieve the rogue undead and bring them back “to the lab”. To no surprise, it was Ellie’s dad Charles (Leonard Kelly-Young) who shot him in the head to begin with – the same mad doctor who sparked this experiment and turned him into the walking dead.
Where most zom-com’s fail, Deadheads rises above mediocrity, filling in the gaps with oodles of gore and rotten-tongue-in-cheek violence. Kids are shot in the head, gun wounds aerate our main characters like swiss cheese, heads roll, intestines and guts fly all over the place – there’s even a penis that rots off and gets in two good moments that will make you laugh out loud. This film is filled with drunken dumbness, but its funny, and pretty damned bloody.
While the script is blisteringly sophomoric, Deadheads doesn’t hold back or try to be coy. Its in-your-face stupid, doesn’t ever take itself seriously, and it doesn’t try to apologize for it. In this regard Deadheads works, becoming properly enhanced in party situations where more than one person is watching, or as a centerpiece for doobies and beers. Its no Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland, but it’s put together well, undeniably fun and deserves a go. Take a chance on it, and while you’re at it, drink one for me. Cheers! –clink!–
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