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Dead Meat (2004)

DVD Cover (Hart Sharp Video)
Director:
Conor McMahon Conor McMahon
Starring:
Marian Araujo Marian Araujo
David Muyllaert David Muyllaert
Eoin Whelan Eoin Whelan
David Ryan David Ryan
Amy Redmond Amy Redmond
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> Zombie Classics

4.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Zombie Film
Helena and Martin's vacation to Ireland quickly transforms into a nightmare as a virus which turns humans into flesh-eating zombies is starting to spread. --TMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: July 29, 2005
In this Irish zombie film, we find Martin (David Ryan) and his wife Helena (Marián Araújo) driving down an old country road while on their way to... well, somewhere, it's never really mentioned. As they're listening to the radio, a news report starts playing which details the recent outbreak of a new strain of the mad cow disease. It seems that some farmer decided to feed rotting flesh to his cattle, said cattle contracted the disease, and they all went apeshit. Not wanting to hear this nonsense, Martin turns the radio off and they continue on their journey. As they're talking amongst themselves, Martin takes his eyes off the road for a moment, which is plenty of time for a man to stumble out into the road and get a good look at the hood and windshield of the speeding car. The two decide that the best idea in this situation is to pack the corpse into the car and take him to a hospital. After getting him pushed into the backseat, Martin starts to drive off... when the man comes back to life and bites a chunk out of Martin's neck. It doesn't take long, as in most zombie movies, for the virus to work its way through Martin's bloodstream, and this leaves Helena on her own in this zombie-infested countryside. Alone, that is, until she meets one of the few surviving humans - Desmond (David Muyllaert), the local gravedigger. Together, the two attempt to make their way out of this mess alive, and they manage to meet up with a few locals (Amy Redmond and Eoin Whelan) along the way.

Unlike the last zombie movie that I watched (Feeding The Masses), this movie doesn't try to inject any sort of social commentary or underlying messages. No, this one opts to travel down the basic route of a zombie movie; there's a few main characters, a horde of flesh-hungry zombies, and a ninety minute fight for survival. It really doesn't get much simpler than that, but sometimes, it's the simple things that work out so well. This is one of those times. There's really not a whole lot to the storyline, other than the heroes attempting to get from point A to point B without getting dismembered by the zombies, but the movie is still a damned good entry into the (admittedly) flooded zombie genre.

What makes this film work out so well is a combination of three things. The first thing is what I just got through explaining: the simplicity. There's no complex sub-plots, there's no romantic angles, and there's no twist ending (well, kinda). Surviving the onslaught of zombies is the main focus of the film, a premise that sadly gets pushed to the side in many of todays zombie flicks. The second thing that makes this movie work out so well is the way that everything is shot. The budget for the film was obviously pretty low, but the way that the scenes are filmed and the angles that are used make it look a lot more polished than one would expect. There's a few scenes that are genuinely creepy, and there's more than a few scenes that even made your jaded webmaster jump thanks to the completely unexpected scares. The third thing that makes the movie so enjoyable is the few comedic moments thrown in to the mix. This isn't a horror comedy or anything like that, and it's far from a laugh a minute... but there's just enough laughs to keep things lively. Besides, who hasn't wanted to see a zombie cow attacking humans, or a zombie getting his eyeball sucked out through a vacuum cleaner? That's just two more things crossed off of my "to-see" effects list.

The budget, as I have mentioned, was pretty low on this movie. It wasn't one of those "handheld camcorder in the backyard" deals, but it wasn't exactly a huge Hollywood production either. There's a few scenes where the zombie carnage is pretty unrealistic and there's a few scenes where it's blindingly obvious how the gag was done... but there's also a good number of effects that are simply amazing. The zombie cow, while starting out as a bit of comedic relief, quickly turns into a real threat to the humans. The scene is made so much better thanks to the great effects used on the cow... it looks completely realistic, or as realistic as a zombie cow can look. This zombie cow business may sound goofy, and truthfully, it is... but I'll be damned if it didn't come across as an awesome scene.

Fans of zombie movies really need to check this out. You won't find a lot of inspiration from Romero here, as there's no subtle messages or social commentary... but there's a whole lot of bloodshed and tons of absolutely brutal zombie carnage. An excellent movie, to say the least. 9/10.
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Edd #1: Edd - added 07/29/2005, 12:13 PM
Fangoria movies suck. I don't see how this got anything above a 4. Most parts were just cheesy and underacted. I gotta say, the effects were good for such an low budget film
Chad #2: Chad - added 07/29/2005, 09:19 PM
If you don't enjoy low budget movies, then you probably wouldn't like (what I've seen of) Fangoria's movies. However, the three that I have seen are quite good in terms of storyline / effects / entertainment.
Christopher #3: Christopher - added 12/25/2005, 03:03 PM
Fangoria by far has the best selection of recent gore/horror films. Skinned Deep, One Hell Of A Christmas, Dead Meat, etc.. Rojo Sangre was the greatest horror film of 2004, hands down.
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