Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on March 21st, 2008
A tough-as-nails cowboy (James Denton) unwillingly hooks up with a naive greenhorn (Chris Kattan) when they have a run-in with a bent sheriff. They may think they have some problems now, but things are much worse than they think, as the town and the surrounding countryside are in the initial stages of a zombie plague.
Simon Pegg and company might well be starting to rue the day they came up with Shaun of the Dead. Though not the first zombie comedy (that would probably be Return of the Living Dead if we exclude some non-cannibal zombies appearing in some 30s horror-comedies), their magnificent film and its success are the proximate cause of the current flood of would be “zombedies” (as this flick labels itself). A western zombie comedy might seem like a promising mix, until one realizes how few western comedies have actually worked, and this one isn’t breaking the trend. Its opening scene (a clumsy zombie attacking his family) veers uncertainly from the tired slapstick to the truly distasteful, and the rest of the film has all the comedic zing of dragged out SNL skit (Chris Kattan, I am casting my baleful eye at YOU). Turgid stuff.
The sound is very enveloping, at least as far as the score is concerned. But though all speakers are active, the result is still rather underwhelming. Like the material itself, the music sounds a bit thin, and there isn’t a terribly convincing sense of environment. It’s all workmanlike enough, I suppose, and there aren’t any egregious flaws, but it’s all just a bit anemic.
I have a rather similar reaction to the video. It’s crisp and clear, the grain is minimal, the image is sharp, and there are no edge enhancement problems, so that’s all to the good. But the colours and contrasts, solid though they are, are also rather blah. This may not be a problem of the transfer as much as it is that of the generally uninspired cinematography, however.
Director Glasgow Phillips and stars Kattan, Denton and Navi Rawat get together for the commentary, and boy howdy, are they having a fine old time together. Too bad the rest of us weren’t invited to the party. Very tiresome. There are two making-of featurettes, and they’re standard-issue stuff. There’s also the trailer, if you care.
Image has released many wonderful horror and exploitation films. Their filmography is up there with Anchor Bay, Blue Underground and Criterion. This release, though, is not one of the better ones.