Thursday, 18 December 2014

Holiday Horror: A Cadaver Christmas (2011)

A Cadaver Christmas (2011)
Director: Joe Zerull
Starring: Daniel Rairdin-Hale, Hanlon Smith-Dorsey, and Yosh Hayashi
Running Time: 85 min

  This is another movie that the writer is starring in their own film and like in "Stalled" they are both janitors in a Christmas premise movie.  Is that weird or what?  Anyway, I like the title and the poster looks interesting, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  Anyone using a mop to kill cadavers has to be okay in my books.

  It's Christmas eve and Tom Tunninbum is the only one left in Eddie's bar.  Eddie's about to call it a night when a janitor comes in, caked in blood and asks to use the bathroom.  Eddie points him in the direction of the bathroom and calls his buddy, deputy Sam Sheriff to let him know about his bloody customer.  Sam tells Eddie to keep him there until he can arrive.
  When the janitor comes out of the bathroom, Eddie tells him that he has to order a drink for using the bathroom, which he does and Tom asks the janitor, "Why are you covered in blood?"  The janitor explains that while he was working and the university that night he was attack and had to fight off thousands of cadavers that had reanimated at the school.  He was lucky that he got out alive and needs to get to the police to stop them before the take over the town or the world.  Just has he finishes his story, the three of them hear a noise outside and find that three or four of the cadavers have followed him to the bar.  Luckily while they are fighting them off, Sam shows up and helps them defeat the cadavers.  They don't kill them but hand cuff them in Eddie's bar, so Sam can check out this janitor's story.
  So they load up in Sam's car and head to the university.  The janitor, Sam, Eddie, Tom and the "Perp" that Sam had just picked up for having sex with a goat, go and investigate the zombie, I mean cadaver outbreak.  At the university, they split up and discover a few things, like that the janitor wasn't lying about the cadavers being re-animated and that a professor at the university, Dr. Hildencress was experimenting with a parasite that he thought could help people but his experiments got out of hand and he created a mess of zombies, I mean cadavers.  Can the janitor and his friends stop this flesh hungry band of roaming cadavers or will this take a gnarly bite out of the festive holidays?

  This wasn't too bad, all things consider.  This was director Joe Zerull and writer Daniel Rairdin-Hale first full length film, that was adapted from a 48 hour film festival.  It has a decent story, somewhat likable characters and it some laughs here and there.
  Also there are some interesting horror stuff in this.  There are a lot of zombies and the characters get to smash and beat a lot of them, which is fun to watch.  However, the story does take a weird turn near the beginning with the "Perp" character, played by Andrew Ryan Harvey.  The "Perp" ends up having sex with one of the corpses/cadavers at the university.  I can appreciate the necro romance and that they tried this gross out angle but I was really surprised by it because the film is a light kind of horror/comedy and having a sex scene with a corpse is rather dark.  It's the most depraved scene in the film and I don't think it fits with the feel of the rest of the film.     

  There isn't that many issues with the film, again considering the budget constraints that these guys and gals went through to get it made.  I wasn't crazy about the grainy grindhouse look that they put over the film, it doesn't add anything and just makes the film annoying to watch.  The flickering is distracting and takes away from the actors.
  Also, we don't see a lot of zomb, cadaver deaths.  The janitor is whacking them with shovels, mops and everything under the sun, which is funny but there is a lot of skull crushing and bloodsplosions going on.  There are some fantastic opportunities for some "Dead Alive" looking bloodbaths and for some wonderfully gory blood filled scenes but it there didn't seem want it take it there, which is a little disappointing.  Again, it could be due to budget constraints but after seeing a dude have sex with a corpse, I was expecting it to be a lot more bloody.

  Overall, this is still a pretty good Christmas flick if you're looking for a low budget kind of scare and laugh.  Again there are a couple funny bits in the film, lots of zombies and the ending actually has a pretty good twist that I think people will dig.  So, this may not be the best present over the holidays but you'll still be glad you got it.

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