A healthy 85 minutes.
Zombie Action Comedy Buddy Movie
Trivia Dean Cain was Superman in The New Adventures of Superman, also known as The Lois and Clark Show
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Dead and Deader (2006)
4th Jul 07
The former Superman Dean Cain plays a soldier who survives a zombie infection but then has to face his zombie squaddies and all they've infected. And there's some road movie action, a big bar fight, a hot chick and a massive zombie fight finale in an army base.
For any of you that have been wondering what Dean Cain has been doing since The Lois and Clark show wrapped a decade ago (or The New Adventures of Superman as it was re-titled over here in the UK), it looks like we've found the answer. He's been starring in a string of pilots that didn't get picked up and made-for-cable TV action movies that nobody wants to watch. Or do they? Tell me; is there a market these days for a low-budget zombie comedy buddy action movie starring a former man of steel? Hmmm, I think we say "Hell yeah!" and laugh at Teri Hatcher for getting stuck with a bunch of middle aged busybodies with nothing better to do than kill each other's husbands, compete over the affections of the local handyman and burn each other's houses down.
So yeah, Dead and Deader starts in classic cheapo-zombie movie style. Dean Cain plays Lt. Bobby Quinn who leads his troops out to a medical centre in deepest, darkest Cambodia (that looks a bit like Californian studio back lot) with orders to investigate why communications have stopped and find out what happened to the first team they sent (don't you just love that?) Of course, it doesn't take long for us to click what's going on and before you can say "Shot 'em in the head!" everyone is dead and being brought back to the US in body bags.
But then a strange thing happens. Right in the middle of his own autopsy, Quinn wakes up and, in agony, grabs the doctor's scalpel and cuts a weird black scorpion out of his arm, much to the doctor's surprise. He then goes on to argue with his doc and his assistant over his general being. Yes, he may look a bit pale and have no heart beat, but he feels great! And besides, that scalpel wound from cutting the scorpion out has already healed over, look!
And while all this is going off, one of Quinn's squaddies wakes up next door. This time though, he's a good old fashioned raving zombie. Before you know it hospital equipment is being knocked over, people are getting bitten, turning into zombies and bedlam is ensuing. But with the help of a wise-cracking black chef named Private Connery – although he thinks he's Martin Lawrence - and a bit of new found super human strength, Quinn manages to escape the facility and hit the road.
Then it all goes classic zombie road movie for a bit with Quinn slaying zombies, outrunning the army and picking up a really hot chick sidekick called Holly on the way, while always finding time to drop a few sly movie references in - some clumsy, some not so. You'll get references to Star Wars, Bullitt and The Sixth Sense amongst others, plus there's a cheeky bit in the middle you should watch out for where Holly bangs on about the Dawn of the Dead remake not being a patch on the original which Quinn shoots her down by saying he prefers Vin Diesel movies. That made me chuckle, although not as much as the cook, Connery, who insists on wearing that red, Michael Jackson Thriller style jacket, because whenever he hangs around Quinn he has a Bad day.
The action is pretty good too. From the opening attack, to the army hospital base, to the bar on the road where they meet Holly, to the mad scientist's lab at the end (oh yeah, there's one of those too) there's plenty of zombie fun to be had. They went for the green blood style of zombie too, which is great because it means that as the blood isn't red you can really ramp up the gore and the censors won't give you a hard time about it. Cut their chests open, rip their arms off, do what you like and you can still show it on the Sci-Fi channel. And the zombie count is impressively high too, especially in that crazy army base where there's loads of the undead buggers running up and down corridors at Dutch angles, before they eventually all pile into the ammo dump for that ridiculous ending. I don't know about you but that was the longest 34 seconds I've ever known!
Yeah it's going to win no awards, but it’ll make no enemies either. The pace is snappy, the action and gore quota is high, the dialogue is nowhere rear as cringe-worthy as you'd think and the actors get the joke especially Dean Cain who says “We’re got to round them up and kill them all!” with such conviction even the third time. That's enough for me.
Versions Available on region 2 with a making of doc. And it's available region 1 too of course.