Featured Post

Featured Post - Mystery Movie Marathon

I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Dead Meat (2004)

This isn’t my first time watching this movie as I think I checked it out fourteen or fifteen years ago for my old website. I don’t remember anything about it so that is probably a bad sign. And this is another low budget zombie flick, which of course I said I wasn’t going to do again. But I think we all knew I wasn’t going to stop. What did draw me back to this one is the director, Conor McMahon. This was I think his first feature film and later did some movies that I really dig. Check out Stitches (a clown back from the dead for some murders!) and Let the Wrong One In (silly vampire comedy) if you get the chance. Also, this isn’t just a indie low budget zombie flick but it is an Irish indie low budget zombie flick. Don’t see many of those. Now onto the review. 

The movie opens with a farmer hearing some strange noises outside and going out to check on them. He gets attacked by a zombie cow. Let that process for a second. Movie you have my attention. Then the action moves to a couple driving along while an announcer on the radio talks about a farmer who was illegally feeding dead animals to his herd. They are distracted and hit a man in the road killing him. Or did they? I mean he was already dead and proceeds to tear the man’s, Martin, throat out. This leads to his lady friend, Helena, to head off to the creepy farm nearby for help. After poking around a bit zombie Martin shows up and she has to dispatch him and then flee when more zombies show up. 

Later she runs into local gravedigger and all around good guy Desmond. The pair of them head off to his house but keep getting waylaid by more zombies. Eventually they meet up with a little girl, never ever trust kids in zombie movies, and another couple Cathal and Francie. This group decides to head to a rescue station but again keep running into zombie problems. This includes the return of the zombie cow from earlier! The survivors are eventually cornered in a castle and have to do battle with the horde of undead that surround them. 

Finally it happened I found a filmmaker that is able to make a movie that doesn’t try to exceed the resources available at hand. This movie, both directed and written by McMahon, has a small cast and simple story. Get from point A to point B. Along the way we get a few set pieces with some local undead attacking them. The locations are simple and were what was available to them. They don’t use some terrible CGI to make giant hordes or try and shoot scenes on busy city streets while onlookers watch. The characters crack a few jokes, deliver their lines well, and do a fine job in the action sequences. The story moves along at a brisk pace never slowing down from the opening scene to the final scene. There is always something happening during the entire hour and twenty minute running time. Now what that hard to do? Apparently so since most of the folks in the almost twenty years since this was made have failed to achieve it. 

Being a zombie movie, we should talk about the special effects work. I don’t think that there are any “featured” lead undead that will stand out. But overall the makeup is good enough. I mean these are all supposed to be pretty fresh, so it works. Most of the kills are actually inflicted on the dead folks. We get a smashed head, another is run thru, there is a stick to the eyeball, a jaw is knocked off a face, and we get a zombie head lopped off with a shovel complete with some brains spilling out. Though my favorite is a kill that I’ve never seen before. A zombie is dispatched with a vacuum sucking out an eyeball! I’ve watched a lot of flicks in this shuffling subgenre and I can honestly say I’ve not seen that before. All of the work is practical and occasionally shows the low budget but that is part of the charm here. 

As an added bit of extra fun keep an eye out, pun not intended, for the road zombie that chomps on Martin. He is played by Ned Dennehy who would later go on to appear in much larger roles in flicks like Guns Akimbo and Mandy. He has also appeared in shows like Outlander (a favorite of my lovely wife) as well as The Walking Dead franchise. Just cool to see someone near the beginning of their career or at least notoriety in the genre. 

Dead Meat isn’t perfect, but I had fun with it. This is the sort of good time on a budget that I’m always hoping to get when I dive into the shallow end of low budget zombie flicks. It worked out for me… this time. You can find this one on YouTube as well as a few other spots on the internet. Give it a shot. 

© Copyright 2023 JohnShatzer

No comments:

Post a Comment