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Dead Fury (2008)

DVD Cover (Unearthed Films)
Animated Feature Film, Animated Horror, Animation, Horror, Parody / Spoof, Supernatural Horror
Frank Sudol Frank Sudol
Frank Sudol Frank Sudol

5.0 / 10 - 1 vote

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Review by Ginose
Added: November 11, 2009
I'm not sure where the line between homage and parody can be smeared, since they are two entirely different things. Most of the time the two can go hand in hand and work remarkably well (the infamous "Naked Gun" and "Hot Shot" series being epitomes of this) and that there's always a distinguishing feature that separates the two, generally just in the context of jokes.

So, hearing that Frank Sudol's (director of the CRIMINALLY underrated "City of Rott") new film "Dead Fury" was both an homage and PARODY of such classics as "The Hills Have Eyes" and the "Evil Dead" trilogy, I certainly expected some Zucker-style wackiness to be had... I was... a bit disappointed.

A group of friends (our hero Max, his father Pop and his body-count friends Jake and Jen) go on a hunting trip in a conveniently located plot of woods (that aren't "50-miles out of the fucking way") and are encountered by a Deadite-esque hiker that had an interesting encounter with a demonic-spell book. After spilling most of their ammo into the filthy bastard, they take the wounded Jake to a nearby (very Leatherface-y) cabin. Tracking back down the trail, Max comes across the still animated remains of the shredded camper; quickly he realizes that this wasn't just some psycho in a drugged-up frenzy. Getting back to his mates, he discovers that things are a whole lot worse than he thought, to little concern to him or anyone else.

All in all, this shares the same ups and downs as Fudol's "City of Rott": It's great fun, full of gore and crude-humor, has the thick stench of the horror-genre nerd all over it and a lot of love (especially considering that they're both one-man projects); on the other hand, there is the somewhat choppy animation style with the well-detailed artwork, the plot has A LOT of fluffing in the middle, which fucks the pacing up something fierce, and the overall effect of the film is drained by Sudol's lazy-ass not knowing TWO OTHER PEOPLE to come in and do additional voices for him (the annoying female voice he uses is cute and funny for all of four lines of dialogue).

Overall, these work in favor of both films, but could easily annoy anyone who didn't know that these were a solo project (as well as the returning character models from his last film) and may come off as plan obnoxious/lazy, to most. Truth be told, I felt they add a lot of charm and a fair amount of personality to F. Sudol's filmmaking style. Of course, I can say this without a hint of fanboyism, just a casual observation, to be sure.

Now, as I said, it's hard to see the smear of the parody/homage here because... well, I really couldn't tell which was supposed to be what. The plot felt like a simple homage, but then descended into parody as it attempted to combine elements from the horror classics it pays homage to. The jokes it makes are the same boat, some are funny I n their own regards, and some are funny only if you know the quirks and heights of the genre ("We have to get *him* to a hospital!"). This is a strange imbalance, but it... sort of works. It just detracts a lot from the actual humor of the PARODY aspect of it. Not terribly funny, in that regard, but not terribly disappointing, either.

Overall, it's a good time if you're a fan of animation, or the splatter-genre overall, but I can damn-well guarantee most won't like it. Hell, most will damn well hate it. Most horror fans, however, know what the quirks are and know where they fit.

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