aka: Zombies at Christmas
Director: Joe Zerull
Starring: Daniel Rairdin-Hale, Hanlon Smith-Dorsey, Yosh Hayashi, Ben Hopkins, Jessica Denney
Never leave a mess unclean!
The janitor of the local university shows up dripping of blood at the local bar. The bar is only occupied by the owner and a drunk, who invited the janitor for a drink while they secretly calls the police on him.
Shortly after a police officer shows up, a group of dead cadavers starts to attack them. They fight them off and the janitor is able to tell his story on how the local university has been filled with the walking dead for the last few hours. They head over there to investigate and find out what has happened to make these cadavers come back to life.
A Cadaver Christmas is a “neo” Grindhouse take on zombies, set on christmas eve. The film is made for under 10,000 dollars, basically it’s an amateur movie. The lack of money is hard to ignore when you watch something like this, but they do make the most out of it by keeping the story within the same locations and by having patience while creating this.
They also went for a visual look that is supposed to resemble the old school Grindhouse films. I’m no fan of this type of homage stuff and find that it is rarely done very well and this one is no exception. It just doesn’t feel needed here and doesn’t add anything to the experience. The film focus mostly on the slapstick comedy element and doesn’t have a lot of gory scenes. The comedy is hit or miss and I didn’t think it was very funny. It should be said that I rarely do find that horror / comedy films work very well though, so I’m not surprised that I didn’t care much for this one.
Most of the acting isn’t very good, as to be expected by such a low budget film, but the Janitor is played very well by Daniel Rairdin-Hale. He is a fun hero to tackle the undead and surely they had a backstory worked out for this character before going into filming. His comedic sidekick is the drunk and I didn’t find him very funny. They should have kept Jessica Denney’s character longer in the film and rather cut down the scenes with the sheriff since he was just annoying.
It shows that director Joe Zerull is a horror fan and although he didn’t win me over with this film, I wouldn’t mind checking out a new movie from him with a decent budget. A Cadaver Christmas might be worth watching together with a few drunk friends for some quick laughs, but it’s not something I would seek out to get and I doubt it will be remembered several years from now.