Dead@17 (2007)

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Genres / Traits: Horror, Supernatural Horror, Zombie Film, Image Comics
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Mark Steensland Mark Steensland
Alex Bolla Alex Bolla
Jessica Ciccone Jessica Ciccone
Bradley Cliff Bradley Cliff
Katelyn Gracy Katelyn Gracy
Mark Kosobucki Mark Kosobucki

5.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 21, 2007
Based on the comic series (excuse me, graphic novel) of the same name, Dead@17 is a tale of teenage heartbreak, friendship, police detective work, and girls in miniskirts hacking zombies to pieces with an ax. The story begins with Nara (Katelyn Gracy) and Hazy (Jess Ciccone) saying their goodbyes for the evening, at which point, Nara heads upstairs to presumedly take a shower before bed. I say presumedly, because she only gets as far as taking off her pants and brushing her teeth before a masked man breaks in and stabs her to death. Talk about a rough night.

After losing her best friend, Hazy attempts to move on with her life while still mourning her loss. However, this is no easy task thanks to a pair of detectives who are constantly hounding our leading lady in an attempt to get some answers out of her about the murder. When Hazy is finally forced to chat with them, she finds out that her former best friend was deeply immersed in the occult and also thought that demons were talking to her. Hazy then returns home in a state of confusion, and just when she thinks that things couldn't get any more bizarre, a horde of zombies breaks into her room... and then Nara shows up and promptly disposes of them with an ax.

I haven't actually read the comic that this is based on, but I've heard nothing but praise about it from a couple of my comic-loving friends. After watching this short that basically spells out the introduction to the comic series and leaves the viewer hanging just when things are getting good, I have to say that I'm definitely interested in checking out said comics for myself to see where they go (or went, to be specific) with this story.

This is a fan film, meaning that it's about as far from "official" as you can get (in fact, someone actually owns the rights to film a "real" version of this movie, which I'm guessing will be released sooner or later). However, don't let that fool you: aside from some spotty acting, this is a pretty fun film. Granted, it's a bit of a letdown to have the credits start rolling right when it's getting good, but the filmmakers never intended to tell the entire story, instead opting to only show what (I assume) was revealed in the first issue of the comic series. Some viewers may be put off by this decision, but personally, I thought that it was the best way to end it short of telling the entire story.

Check it out. I won't compare it to the comics as (again) I haven't read them, but I can say that this short film has made me want to track them down and give them some of my time. That is a far cry from some of the other fan films I've seen which have made me want to burn all of my copies of the referenced material, and for that, I'm going with an 8/10.
Tristan #1: Tristan - added 06/21/2007, 08:48 AM
I'm all for a short film. I'm all for a zombie movie. I'm all for comic adaptation. I'm all for girls in miniskirts. I thought this was an awful piece of garbage, and I don't know if I even want to hunt the comics down.
Ginose #2: Ginose - added 07/27/2007, 09:30 PM
I second Tristan's notion.
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