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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Cadaver Christmas (2012)




The Twelve Days of Christmas horror marathon continues. While Santa Claus is going to be a frequent theme here, I thought that it might be nice to include some other stuff as well. This might be the only zombie movie with a Christmas setting and I’m a big zombie movie fan, so I figured what the hell I’ll give it a chance.

The movie starts off in a bar when a man covered in blood and wearing a janitor’s uniform comes in to use the bathroom. While he is in there the bartender calls the police and an officer stops by to investigate. Before you know it there are some zombies, or cadavers as the janitor insists on calling them, in the parking lot. Not satisfied that something horrible is going on with the cadaver’s appearance alone the cop insists they go back to the college where the bloody man works to sort things out. This leads the janitor, bartender, cop, a prisoner in the cop’s car, and drunk Tom who was the only customer drinking on Christmas Eve back to where it all began. When they arrive, we get some backstory on how the zombies were created, another character of an eager campus security guard, and some zombie action. Characters die and there are a few funny jokes/gags though they save the very best for last.

A Cadaver Christmas has some serious pacing issues. The movie starts off like gangbusters with a quick flashback and some zombies in the parking lot. But when they get back to campus things slow down and the movie keeps using flashbacks. First with the doctor “inventing” the reanimation process on accident. Then there is another with some frat boys showing up I think solely to explain why there are more zombies later on. The security guard character is sort of pointless except for a single gag involving 911 that they keep revisiting. At this point I was thinking that the movie was going to be a disappointment and a waste of a cool concept.

But then like someone flipping a switch it gets good again. People get infected and attack each other leading to some gore. Though mostly off screen or digital it is still fun. Here I normally give you a blow by blow of the various kills you can look forward to but in reality, none of them are memorable. Though a lot of blood does get spilled it all feels a bit generic. This is one of those quantity of quality situations and I can respect that. The guys have a final stand as they are the only thing between the undead and the door leading to the outside. They build a barricade out of Christmas Decorations and do their best to save the day.

The last third of the movie is by far the most entertaining part. There is a lot of mayhem and crazy stuff on screen and this is also where Drunk Tom steals the movie. He is sort of a sad sack and while quiet in the early scenes he becomes more important as things go along. He has some funny lines and there is a bit in the janitor’s closet that is sadly sweet and vulnerable. I never expect to see this kind of character and/or performance in a movie like A Cadaver Christmas. This and the ending are the reason to watch the movie. I won’t say anything else because I don’t want to spoil it. I recommend checking out A Cadaver Christmas. Just remember to stick with it till the credits roll.



© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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