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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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It is prom night at Cosa High School and charming slacker Jimmy (Jared Kusnitz) has struck out trying to get a date to the dance, but that proves to be the least of his problems when the dead start rising from their graves. Fortunately, Jimmy is not the only dateless geek on prom night. There is the fetching Lindsey (Greyson Chadwick), the vice-president of the student body, Gwen (Carissa Capobianco), the cheerleader who needs to be saved, Steven (Charlton Derby), the nerd who would like to save her, Nash (Blair Redord), the angry leader of a local band, and the tag-team of Jules (Randy McDowell) and George (Michael V. Mammoliti), who belong to the school's Science Fiction Club. You might ask: Why do the dead starting exploding out of their graves? Well, because this is a zombie movie, which means it might be the town's nuclear reactor or it could just be because the script says that they rise from the dead. So do not ask wherefore art their zombies, or why the only adult authority figure left standing once the zombies run amuck is Coach Keel (Mark Oliver), who has watched way too many action films. Just enjoy one of the best tongue-in-cheek zombie comedies to come down the pike in recent years.

When it comes to zombie movies I still prefer the original "Night of the Living Dead" with the traditional slow moving Old School zombies over the new and impoved frantic flesh eaters of the "Dawn of the Dead" remake, "28 Days Later," et al. More to the point, I liked "Dead and Breakfast" more than "Shaun of the Dead," and I really liked "Shaun of the Dead." Given that particular set of predilections it is probably not surprising that I am willing to round up on "Dance of the Dead," when most people will not (and, yes, I am looking forward to "Zombie Strippers"). There might be a correlation between these two principles simply because it is hard to do a zombie comedy if they are running and you are running. When it is more "The zombies are coming! Walk away! Walk away!" there is way more time to make with the smart aleck remarks (and to go out for pancakes).

"Dance of the Dead" is apparently a movie that was a decade in the making, since the writer and diretor met up in film school at USC, which might explain in part why it works so well, because the script by Joe Ballarini exhibits evidence of fine tuning. The same can be said for the special effects put together by director Gregg Bishop "The Other Side," who manages not to over indulge in the handheld camera work that so often distracts me (or threatens to make my head explode) in contemporary horror films (i.e., "Cloverfield"). But I think a big part of the success for this 2008 release is that this film follows the Franco Zefferelli approach of going out and hiring actual teenagers to play teenagers, which is why so many people make John Hughes references when talking about this film. The young cast, many from Georgia since that is where "Dance of the Dead" was filmed, give it a certain charm (e.g., when Lindsey leads the group in prayer before the ensemble has its requisite "Buffy The Vampire Slayer movement of striding purposely down the hallway with their array of weaponry, a moment that serves as the backdrop for the DVD's menu). That also means this film has the advantage of featuring unfamiliar faces instead of twentysomethings from television shows slumming in splatter flicks.

I have no idea what "Dance of the Dead" is doing in the Ghost House Underground series of horror films that Lionsgate has put out to distract horror fans from the fact that this year's Horrorfest has been delayed until January (they still only have 5 and not 8 films 2 die 4). This is far and away the best of the six of eight films I have seen so far, and if there is something better than "Dance of the Dead" still out there, that would be really sweet, but I doubt it is going to happen. This DVD also sets the standard for special features in this series, with audio commentary by Bishop and Ballarini, a featurette on the making of the film, a special look at "Blood, Guts, and Rock 'n' Roll: Effects and Stunts of Dance of the Dead," a handful of deleted and extended scenes (with optional commentary by the director), Bishop's short film "Voodoo" (also when commentary, because apparently you cannot stop Bishop from commenting, you can only choose not to listen), and the trailer (which contains the film's one flaw: which is that the best line in the trailer is actually two lines cobbled together, in reverse, from the end of the film).
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on 14 October 2009
I am a zombie freak. I love zombie movies and I must say this is one of the best unpretentious zombie movie I have seen in a very long time. You have zombie frogs, zombie snogging and zombies that don't attack if they hear rock music (seriously). The cast is marvellous, the dialogue is genius and the character of Kyle deserves cult status.
To be low budget, this movie is very well done; even the special effects are really good. I give this movie 5 stars because it's just brilliant and watching it is a real pleasure. Unlikely most zombie movies that came out in the past couple of years, this movie is fun.
Let's support this unknown director and the great job he has done.
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VINE VOICEon 21 September 2010
I wonder if this film was meant to do for zombie films what 'Scream' did for slashers. It is full of cliches and sick humour but tremendous fun all the same. A largely unknown cast play the high school misfits who don't get to go to the prom for whatever reason on the night that the local power station's toxic dumping brings the dead to life. Having survived the initial onslaught our band of heroes realise they are the only thing between the zombie horde and chowdown at the prom. Armed with anything they can lay their hands on they set off to save the day. Considering this was director Gregg Bishop's first major feature film he does a great job, the cast all put in a good performance and the effects are just what you expect from a tongue in cheek zombie movie. Carissa Capobianco stands out as the cheerleader and could almost be Hayden Panatierre's sister, the resemblance is so strong. The dvd includes a 20 minute making of feature which was worth watching for a change, a 5 minute feature on the special effects and the trailer.
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on 14 May 2011
this is a above average zombie flick taking place at a High School DAnce , the movie was done by professionals and not first timers so that adds to it's charm. It's not a great movie but it's entertaining so I don't get the one star reviews on cheap zombie movies. What did they expect? And this at least was shot on film and not tape. It has a decent plot and some humour too. That's enough for me and the dvd has a good print so that's another plus.
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VINE VOICEon 23 October 2008
I'd not heard of a single person behind or in front of the cameras on this one but boy did they do a good job. The Zombies are in the style of "Return of the Living Dead" and it's played for laughs as a group of teens attempt to survive the chemical spillage induced outbreak and get to the prom alive. Everyone in it is appealing and funny even the villains. The budget gore effects are extremely well done, it's full of action and entertaining from start to finish.
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on 17 September 2012
A local nuclear plan send out some poisonous green steam that turned all dead alive. A bunch of high school kids tries to save themselves, the prom night at the local school and thereby the whole city from horde of zombies. Will they succeed or will the zombies spread and take over?

The genre is a funny zombie movie, and it has several fun moments indeed. Though I like serious zombie movies better, this one is okay. Zombiemovies comes in two categories: with slow zombies or fast zombies. These ones are indeed fast, almost running. In return they are easy to kill.

If you liked this movie, you might also like "Zombieland" and the series "The walking dead".
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on 10 October 2013
This film was so much better than I thought it would be.
It had the perfect mix of comedy and horror. Loved it.
My only negative was the film ended just as the gang were ready for their next mission :)
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on 20 April 2010
I had never heared of this film before I bought it, I just thought the cover looked good! I really like the fact that there is a sense of humour to the film, as sometimes I'd rather watch a horror with a bit of tounge in cheek rather than a more "serious" one. Its a little random and cheesy in some parts, and some of the effects aren't as good as the big hollywood blockbusters but personally I think that just adds to the fun of it. All in all i think it's a great film, definately worth the watch if you're into zombies and comedy horrors.
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on 25 April 2010
This film is a brilliant zombie comedy, however if you like your zombies to be the original slow and stupid type you might not fully appreciate the film as zombies do burst out of their graves in one scene and they also steal a car in another scene.

But apart from these two moments the film is way above the quality of most zombie films available today.

It has been available for a couple of years on Region 1 and I'm glad this has finally been released over here and would highly recommend it.
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on 11 February 2013
I love this film, it's silly and a bit rubbish and therefore brilliant. The characters are all outstanding, and it's funny. A must see.
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