The Walking Deceased (2015)
The 19th Century Shakespearean stage actor Edmund Kean was reported to have said on his deathbed, “Dying is easy; comedy is hard.” Having seen a lot of bad comedies in my day, I can’t really argue against that.
And THE WALKING DECEASED isn’t gonna change my opinion, either.
What’s worse nowadays is that younger audiences have been fed a diet of absolutely terrible so-called comedies from Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, who wrote and/or produced such garbage as SCARY MOVIE, VAMPIRES SUCK, THE STARVING GAMES, EPIC MOVIE, MEET THE SPARTANS, and others. They’re labelled as parody films, though this is done with all the finesse of labelling an evening with Bill Cosby as a “date”.
Really they act as bingo cards, allowing the pubescent demographic in the theatre to stop worrying about if they’re gonna get some tongue action from the girl/guy sitting next to them, and busy themselves identifying the various popular TV/movie references. Seltzer and Friedberg will litter their cheaply-made wastes of time with cameos from celebrities with shorter shelf lives than a carton of fresh milk, in lieu of any jokes, and occasionally you’ll get cutaways to scenes of Captain Jack Sparrow or Iron Man krunking. Of course they’re cheaply made and produce buttloads of money. Go figure.
Seltzer and Friedberg, thankfully, had no hand in the making of THE WALKING DECEASED, though I suspect they might have inspired writer/star Tim Ogletree, to which I might respond, “For a better source of inspiration, try early Mel Brooks, or maybe Edgar Wright.”
Maybe I’m being too cruel to Ogletree. To his credit, he’s actually fashioned a storyline to go with the movie, making him look like Christopher Nolan when compared to Seltzer and Friedberg. It opens with a QUARANTINE-style reporter expositing about the zombie-generating virus caused by a sushi chef not washing his hands, before she’s eaten.
Then, 29 days later (geddit?), we see a thinking teen zombie named Romeo (Troy Ogletree) with an inner monologue, just like in WARM BODIES, wandering through a hospital where he avoids a pair of survivors named Green Bay (Tim Ogletree) and Chicago (Joey Oglesby), just like in ZOMBIELAND, who find Sheriff Lincoln (Dave Sheridan), who has been in a coma ever since his kid Chris (Mason Dakota Galyon) hit him with a baseball. Just like in THE WALKING DEAD! You see? That’s what makes it funny. Apparently.
Green Bay and Chicago leave the moronic Lincoln behind, returning to the mall where they’re staying with fellow survivors Brooklyn (Sophie Taylor) and her younger deaf sister Harlem (Danielle Garcia), whose thoughts pop up text style over her head; Romeo falls in love with Brooklyn and follows them to the mall, just like in some other zombie movie I can’t recall. Lincoln, meanwhile, returns home to find his wife and kid, along the way further parodying THE WALKING DEAD by encountering a child, who’s alive and says she’s looking for her father, and then killing her, because “that’s exactly what a zombie would say.”
Lincoln finds his son Chris (who he keeps calling ‘Carl’, because that’s what Rick Grimes’ son in THE WALKING DEAD was called), who’s running a strip joint using both dead and live girls just like in ZOMBIE STRIPPERS (one of them being his mother, because Eeeuuw), and attended by two English guys who look and talk a little like the guys from SHAUN OF THE DEAD. They don’t say or do anything funny or make attempt to mock the far superior movie they’re based upon. Why include them?
Among the mall survivors is redneck Darnell (Andrew Pozza), whose shtick is using a child’s toy crossbow that never works. If your sides are splitting from laughing now, take a deep breath, relax and continue reading. Eventually Romeo (whose name everyone mistakes for ‘Romero’, because that’s meant to be funny too) joins the group, because Brooklyn has the hots for him, and then Lincoln and Chris/Carl, and they all head off to Safe Haven Farm, where they find a sweet elderly couple who keeps their daughter looked away, I’m sure for good reasons. Oh, and occasionally we cut away to a Mysterious Wanderer (Trenton Rostedt), who I think is supposed to be Denzel Washington in THE BOOK OF ELI, though that was a post-apocalyptic movie rather than a zombie movie, so what the f**k?
Probably the best part of THE WALKING DECEASED is Ogletree’s decision to try and base the comedy on characters rather than just pop culture references. That doesn’t mean it was successful, or that he leaves out the pop culture references (at one point, the survivors run into some folk Zombie LARPing). The humour is flatter than Michael Jackson’s EEG line. Some of the targets, like SHAUN OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIELAND are already comedies to begin with, and don’t work at all. Had this movie tried to emulate those instead of spoofing them, it would have been more successful.
I did chuckle a couple of times at some of the dialogue (“You know what’s the sixth most dangerous weapon? A crossbow.” “You know what’s number five? A spoon.”), and a sequence where zombies prove so vulnerable to attacks on the brain that pillows and calls to explain the plot to INCEPTION can kill the undead. But these few brief moments are interspersed across a numbing 90 minutes of tedium.
The movie is available in various outlets, and the trailer is below. Consider yourself warned.
Director: Scott Dow
Plot: 1 out of 5 stars
Gore: 1 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 3 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Deggsy