Is there anything worse than sitting in stone cold silence as you watch something you know is supposed to be funny, but just really, really isn’t? This is the experience I had last Saturday as we watched the crime against comedy that is Deadheads. The story sounds just fine on its own. Two buddy zombies, inexplicably blessed with the retention of their minds, go on a road trip to find the girl who got away…as in lost love, not a meal… never mind.
The problem is that this movie can not get out of its own way in its apparently never ending quest to be terrible. It is truly incredible to watch as not one choice made by the actors, directors or writers turns out to be a good one. The movie misses on every single swing it takes. And I’m not just talking about the jokes, sadly. I can see how someone somewhere might think it’s funny that a zombie’s penis falls off, but as I said, the badness extends beyond questionable humor. For instance, why is half the cast allowed to talk in a silly cartoon voice? Is THAT supposed to be funny? One of the co-leads speaks in the most annoying nasally, punch-worthy voice. Worse, one of the antagonists delivers all his lines like Cookie Monster doing a Sgt Slaughter impression. The plot, while not incomprehensible from scene to scene, leaves a lot to be desired in the continuity department. The two zombie buddies meet each other for the first time and don’t get along. In the next scene, they’re planning the road trip like they’re lifelong best buds. One of their pursuers says he works alone and then drives off. Later, he’s working with the other villains like it’s not even an issue.
And let’s not get started on the ending that goes for romantic reunion at the expense of literally everything else. Really? What happened to the bad guys who turned good? Is girlfriend at all concerned that her dad murdered her boyfriend and turned him into a zombie? Guess those are questions left for the sequel I won’t be watching. Grade: D
Next up was Legend of the Bog, an entry from my ancestral homeland of Ireland. This one was also a disappointment, but a much milder one. The frustration here is that the movie does a very good job of setting up the tent poles but then wanders off without finishing the project. Basically, the legend of the bog is that ancient peoples left the wicked there to die as symbolism, somewhere between land and water being the same kind of thing as somewhere between life and death, I guess. The problem is that one of these “bog bodies” comes back to life and he is not too happy.
‘Legend’ suffers most from not really knowing what it wants to be. It has funny beats and it has dramatic beats but the parts don’t add up to a decent whole. It all ends up seeming like an odd jumble. For instance, wacky comic relief cab driver… who it turns out has committed vehicular manslaughter! Umm…ok… The villainous monster, known only as the bog body, comes off as sympathetic mostly. He’s less of a monster than he is a thirsty and confused thawed-out caveman. He only kills when provoked for the most part. And I can buy three different couples having three different car troubles if this is a truly wacky comedy OR maybe the forces of the bog somehow summoned them all there because they’ve all covered up someone’s accidental death… and my God, won’t it be creepy and affecting when all the dead bodies come back to life to seek revenge against the ones who have wronged them? Except that never happens. That’s what I meant by not finishing the tent. The movie comes so close to scoring a touchdown but ultimately, it gets tackled at the 1 yard line and has to settle for a field goal. It was so close! Grade: B-