Rise Of The Dead – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Director:
William Wedig

Starring:

Erin Wilk .Laura Childs
Stephen Seidel .Jack
Chris Ferry .Deputy Greer
Matt Regney .Rick Gerber
Peter Blitzer .Sheriff Brown

Lightning Home Entertainment and Develment in association with Lionsgate present Rise of the Dead. Screenplay by Jeff Crook and Josh Crook. Running time: 72 minutes. Rated R. DVD release date: November 13, 2007.

The Movie

Everything about this movie leads you to think that you are in for some cheap Romeroesque zombierama. The title is, of course, Rise of the Dead, and the tag line on the back cover proclaims this movie as “A Frightening Zombie Thriller!” Well, it isn’t. Instead of zombies, we have something more along the lines of a ghost or spirit, and while this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can mislead people looking for a fun, cheesy zombie flick to pass a lazy night.

The events of the movie center on Laura Childs—played fairly well by Erin Wilk. Something possesses the people around her, making them into savage, remorseless killers bent on destroying her and everything she loves. Laura must discover who or what is behind these series of seemingly random attacks before she dies—or is forced to kill everyone around her.

This is one of those horror movies that hinges on the mystery, which makes it difficult to write about the plot. At first this does seem like a traditional zombie movie, but fairly quickly you realize that what is going on is something different. Although the story hitches in a few places, the general concept is interesting and the sense of mystery and solid pacing make this enjoyable to watch. I will say, though, that without giving anything away, the ending is disturbing and could possibly put off some viewers.

But the ending is also where this movie distinguishes itself from other, run-of-the-mill horror movies. Horror’s strength, after all, lies in its ability to force us to look at the gory, the unsavory, and the disturbing. It allows people a glimpse at chaos and destruction from a safe place, but in doing so spurs us to reevaluate our notions and preconceptions. While I didn’t necessarily like how the movie ended, I will say that it stays with you, and that may be its saving grace.

Rise of the Dead is one of those B movies that leaves you wondering how much better it could have been if the people involved had a little more time, money, and maybe even talent. It will never rival Night of the Living Dead or any of the other truly great B movies. It’s not scary and doesn’t have great production value, but it does have an interesting concept, mostly competent acting, and a solid sense of pacing and plotting, which is more than some movies can say.

The DVD

Video
The picture is presented in Widescreen 1:78:1 format. You can tell that the production didn’t have top of the line cameras, but the picture was clear with no transfer problems.

Audio
The soundtrack is 2.0 Dolby Stereo Audio. Like the picture quality you can tell that the production didn’t have the best equipment. There was no directionality to the sound, but on the other hand, the audio came through fine and I had no trouble hearing the dialogue or sound effects.

Extra Features
Audio Commentary
Director William Wedig and actress Erin Wilks speak about production issues and other standard audio commentary topics.

Trailers
Mostly torture-porn movies and a racist African American horror movie called Holla.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Rise of the Dead
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

5
THE VIDEO

6
THE AUDIO

5
THE EXTRAS

3
REPLAY VALUE

3
OVERALL
5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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