Dance of the Dead 2008 Movie Scene Jared Kusnitz as Jimmy, Greyson Chadwick as Lindsey, and Mark Oliver as Coach Keel realizing that prom is overrun with zombies

Dance Of The Dead [2008]

Ahhh, the 2000s were the decade of zombie comedies or zomcoms. After the huge success of Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, everybody was trying to replicate that formula. However, the origins of this subgenre go back to the, you guessed it, the eighties. Dance of the Dead is a carefully thought-out and executed zombie horror comedy about one unforgettable prom night. So, you already know the deal. We will be following a diverse group of teenagers as they navigate the zombie-infested streets of their little town. You’ve got your jocks, nerds, cheerleaders and all the other stereotypical characters banding together to defeat the menace. 

I distinctly remember running into this movie several times over the past 15 years. And each time I felt it was far too shlocky and cheap. However, over the years, my perception began to change and I started to appreciate these little horror comedies. They became a sort of guilty pleasure of mine, allowing me to not only reminisce about my youth but also enjoy all the genre tropes. And I did see almost all of the big and medium movies, so there’s that. If you’re still not sure about this movie I have just one thing to tell you. Dance of the Dead is a movie recommended by none other than Sam Raimi!

Yes, the same Sam Raimi who brought us such cult classics as The Evil Dead and Drag Me To Hell. If this movie is good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. Despite the late 2000s release date, the script was written back in the nineties. Something that I noticed right away with our cemetery worker trying to contain the zombie infestation just at that location. Highly underrated nineties masterpiece Cemetery Man features a story exclusively focused on that. The production values are solid and the same goes for the practical effects and make-up. Now, Dance of the Dead is a movie featuring a lot of gruesomely gory fun.

Our merry band of teens will kill zombies in a lot of different ways. So count on axes, machetes, and even guitars to be used as weapons. The movie also isn’t afraid of killing off characters which was a nice surprise. Movies where no one from our main group dies are so boring. However, you will have to get through the rocky first twenty minutes to get to the good stuff. We will spend that time getting to know our characters and their high school troubles and desires. Once the action starts it doesn’t stop till the end. Combine this with a short running time of under eighty minutes and you have yourself quite an entertaining experience.

It seems to be following The Return of the Living Dead recipe, only without nudity. The action sequences are great and look like they belong in a much bigger movie. Not only there were a lot of extras but the stunts themselves were juicy. I especially liked the graveyard scenes with the undead popping out of their graves leaping into the air. So, yes, this is one of those movies featuring fast-moving zombies. I think they would be better off if they had the slow-walkers as well. Mostly because during the latter stages of the movie, the scenes would look better.

There’s also a surprising amount of music here along with a classic high school punk rock band. It’s not metal but I’ll take it. Our young cast was excellent despite the lack of experience. Initially, the story was about a zombie apocalypse survivor Lydia who roams the wasteland looking for shelter. However, when the actress playing her backed out of the role, they rewrote the script and greatly improved it.

Director: Gregg Bishop

Writer: Joe Ballarini

Cast: Jared Kusnitz, Greyson Chadwick, Chandler Darby, Carissa Fowler, Mark Oliver, James Jarrett

Fun Facts: The entire movie was filmed in Georgia and most of the cast are native Georgians.


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