The Walking Deceased

Dir: Scott Dow
Star: Tim Ogletree, Joey Oglesby, Dave Sheridan, Troy Ogletree

Despite the title, or the original one of Walking With The Dead, this is not just a spoof of a certain hit TV show, though if you don't watch The Walking Dead, you will largely be lost. This also takes obvious shots at Zombieland, basically folding the characters from it into the storyline of TWD. Though we haven't seen it, Warm Bodies also appears to be a target, with a romance between a human and zombie (Troy Ogletree), and there are two guys whom we eventually realized are supposed to be from Shaun of the Dead, even if calling that "understated" is likely giving it more credit than it deserves. But it's mostly TWD vs. Zombieland, with the Woody Harrelson character (Tim Ogletree) and his sidekick (Oglesby), initially facing off against Sheriff Lincoln (Sheridan) and his posse in a mall, before heading for the ironically-named "Safe Haven Ranch", where a Herschel-alike and his family await.

As you'd expect from such a scatter-gun approach, the results are hugely variable. I loved the Sheriff's son, a foul-mouthed brat found by his father managing the strip-club where their mother is the only live attraction: he's called Chris, and has to keep reminding his father it isn't Carl. That's the kind of dumb invention at which the film excels: an unfortunate encounter with a zombie walk, or the debate over there being no more Twitter or Pinterest [LinkedIn, however, will apparently survive the zombie apocalypse]. Sheridan hits the spot in his parody of Rick Grimes, roaring "We have lost our hu-MAN-ity," in such a way I kept wanting to yell this out, the next time we watched a real Walking Dead episode. However, most of the good stuff is concentrated early on, with the second half laugh-free to such an extent, you're better off considering it as a regular zombie film, though as such, it's strictly mediocre. Familiarity with the subject matter is certainly essential, and even with it, the results are hit and miss.

[April 2015]

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