Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!
Dance of the Dead
After about six million previews on the disk we finally get to Dance of the Dead, which is similar to Night of the Living Dorks in that some of the main characters are dorks and there is a lot of zany teenage action, but the American version is much kinder to the diversity of high school student types and the action here doesn’t make your eyes roll so much. Horror films have drawn from the prom well a few times over the years, with movies like Prom Night, Student Bodies, and Carrie adding bloody and deadly layers over the real life terror of dressing up all fancy and worrying what everyone else is thinking of you.
We begin with the cemetery guy who may not kick ass for the lord but is pretty bad ass, gathering wayward dangerous body parts and wheeling the writhing dead things past the neighbors, in this case a nuclear power plant belching tons of smoke into the air. It’s a funny and succinct setup to the zombie invasion to come. At the high school, backward teachers audition the prom band while students revel in hallway heaven. In science class the sadistic teacher dissects the loser life of the charismatic nerd, who ends up in detention with his new posse, though they don’t know yet they’re a gang. Geeks, skinheads, stoners, and cheerleaders are mashed unhappily together on prom night, supposedly the best night of your life. Too bad there are zombies. They go to the prom to save everyone, even the ones they hate. “If we don’t stop those things from getting to the prom then our world is over.” Drama much?
There is the obligatory mall scene, at a 7-11 since it’s high school. The social commentary is about how everyone is capable of being a good guy and a hero. Even the skinhead is redeemed by our heroic nerd. Our mismatched heroes bond over past bullying and dating people they hate. Then they send out the cheerleader as the best person to be heroic in that moment. The action is purposefully crazy, and they take the zombies seriously enough to make the film very funny throughout. The teenagers are portrayed sympathetically, as real people despite the stereotypes.
If you want to learn the secret of how heavy metal affects the walking dead you’ll have to rent this film. It’s a romping good time that uses zombies to examine the wacky and serious lives of high school students.
NSFW – Zombie Trailer – Dance of the Dead (2008) Zombie Hangout