It's a teen zombie movie. Think "Breakfast Club" plus zombies, less epic music (except for the Pixies' cover of "Where is My Mind?" by Nada Surf Fight Club song for those of you who need a mental nudge). When I say it's "Breakfast Club" I mean just that: "Breakfast Club." It is heavy on the whole teen superficial archetypes thrust together serendipitously, and who must work together in order to get out of a predicament, all whilst learning about each other and themselves. This movie is similar, but instead of figuring out how to survive each other, they need to fight against a shambling horde of newly converted undead. This is the first movie review in RockRevolt Magazine. My reviews are more like a spanking, which sting at first, but when applied with appropriate follow-up, tend to be quite nice. I put everything I didn't like about the movie out there first, and then I soften that blow with what I did like. Let us proceed with that spanking now: Too Long. In this reviewer's opinion, the movie could have been shortened up. There were some brief moments that could have come out, that would have shaved off some minutes without having much impact on the overall delivery.
Jimmy? There could have been more to him; a little more substance. He was practically a prop, right up until his demise.
Holding the Head Effect. The effect was not as polished as I would have preferred. Since it was jarringly different from the other gory details, I would have done away with that particular scene, as it really didn't add a whole lot more, nor was it crucial to the story.
"I don't want to die a virgin?" Seriously? You are stuck in your school's library. The place is crawling with zombies, both inside and out, and all you can think of is
I take that back. If I were a teen in high school in a similar position, I would probably have the same mind-set. Move this to the plusses. Let us not die virgins.
Let's work on removing that sting now, and talking about some of the things that did work for me: John Hughes. I really enjoy some John Hughes flicks, so any nod in the direction of his classic films just hits me where I like it, even with zombies running around.
Visual Comedy. Call me immature, but I will laugh at the same thing a 13-14 year old boy will laugh at. The homo-erotic double entendre scene in which Ash and Eddie are trying to release the Kung-Fu grip a dismembered zombie arm had on Eddie's nether regions as they hump and thrust around just slays me. There were other instances that provoked the Beavis and Butthead giggling in me. I sported the "he he he he" quite frequently.
Ash. By far my favorite character. I could see such a character go awry with the wrong actor, but as portrayed by Justin Chon, I found him to be incredibly charismatic. What I particularly enjoyed about this character was watching his antics become the catalysts that propelled the story forward.
Classic Zombie Movie Salutes. Every once in a while, a reference to another zombie movie would pop-up and make me smile. There was no bigger smile on my lips than when the characters were huddled in front of a desk that had the sign "Savini Library."
There were many other reasons to enjoy this movie. If you enjoy John Hughes flicks, and zombie flicks, you will absolutely want to see this one. If you are ambivalent about one or the other, you should still check this one out. It's a movie that has an amazingly relatable story. How many of you are a dweeb with a hard-on for the cheerleader, but learned that you could save the day and get a girl that is like-minded and just as hot in other ways? I mean, not everyone can be a cheerleader or the school jock, but everyone is somebody, and whether or not you are slaying homework, zombies, or your day to day cubicle farm job, there is something ultimately cool about watching the under-dog save the day, and anyone can walk a mile in those shoes of that average man.
Off the soap box now. Detention of the Dead. Check it out. Take a date. If you get bored, you could always make-out, but I suspect you might actually want to watch this one.