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Die And Let Live (2006)

DVD Cover (Heretic Films)
Director:
Justin Channell Justin Channell
Starring:
Josh Lively Josh Lively
Zane Crosby Zane Crosby
Sarah Bauer Sarah Bauer
Ashley Goddard Ashley Goddard
Jonas Dixon Jonas Dixon
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> Zombie Classics

3.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Horror Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Zombie Film
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Review by Chad
Added: January 21, 2007
Just a couple of days ago, I reviewed another zombie movie and kicked off that review with a little piece on how zombie movies are a dime a dozen these days and how directors really need to bring something new to the table if they want to stand out. This film decides to throw some comedy into the mix, and while that's also been done plenty of times over, it has a little something extra to set it apart from the rest: a small splash of teen romance. Now, even this angle has been done before in Boy Eats Girl, but it's still a mixture of genres that is fairly original and deserves a few more releases.

This one begins with Benny Rodriguez (Josh Lively) and Scotty Smalls (Zane Crosby) discussing relationships in a small coffee shop. Benny reveals to Smalls that he has the hots for Stephanie (Sarah Bauer), an attractive young lady who is currently involved with the male slut of the town. Meanwhile, an equally attractive lady by the name of Liz (Ashley Goddard) has the hots for Benny, and it doesn't take a genius to realize that this is one bizarre little love triangle. Along with their friend Squints (Jordan Hess), Benny and Smalls decide to put together a small little party so that Benny can finally hook up with the lady of his dreams; however, the evening takes a turn for the worse when some test subjects escape from a nearby laboratory. These subjects just so happen to be infected with a virus that turns them into flesh-hungry zombies, and a house full of partying teenagers turns into one huge buffet line faster than you can say "unsafe sex." Features cameos from Lloyd Kaufman, Trent Haaga, and the voice of Debbie Rochon.

I was actually quite shocked by this release. It's an independent release that managed to completely slip under my radar (no small feat, let me assure you), and normally, films that do such turn out to be less than stellar. Not so in this case, as it turns out that director Justin Channell has produced a film that looks professional, tells a good story, and most importantly, manages to pull more than a couple of the intended laughs.

It's rare that an independent release will make me laugh as much as this one did. This isn't a knock on the independent community, but most of the comedy releases coming out of there feature jokes that are simply unfunny or cast members that can't properly deliver them. I realize that it's hard to cast seasoned actors and actresses when working with a low budget so I try to cut them some slack (or avoid reviewing them if I truly can't find something nice to say), so it should go without saying that I wasn't expecting a whole lot out of this one. Thankfully, I was wrong, and that was due to some good writing and a pretty damned good performance from costar Zane Crosby. Zane is excellent in his role, coming across as perfectly natural and convincing while also delivering some of the most laugh-out-loud lines of the movie. The other cast members are pretty good as well (certainly better than what I was expecting), but Zane is definitely the one you'll be rooting for the most.

Although the comedy turns out to be the main attraction, there's also some pretty good gore scenes to be found once the zombies start chowing down on the party-goers. Flesh is torn and blood spurts all over the place, and while it's not exactly a Dead Alive level of zombie carnage, it's certainly adequate and actually outdoes a fair portion of the recent low-budget zombie films.

Check it out when you can. I have no idea when or if it's getting a DVD release or even an internet release, but you can currently check out the trailer and keep up with news updates on their MySpace page. 7/10.
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QuietMan #1: QuietMan - added 01/21/2007, 11:10 AM
when the little poster says "check out the trailer on myspace" hopes for the movie can't be that high
Justin Channell #2: Justin Channell - added 01/21/2007, 06:19 PM
Hi... I'm the director. I agree with what QuietMan said. That poster was from before the film was even finished for promoting at horror conventions. I'm currently away at college at not near my computer so I haven't had much time to update the graphics.
QuietMan #3: QuietMan - added 01/22/2007, 11:11 AM
i was just joking man i watched the trailer and laughed my ass off i want to see the whole thing
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