Friday, September 18, 2015

Mostly Dead

Director - Hernan Caraballo (Real Housewives of the Paranormal)
Starring - Tara Rae Hark, Dean Puleo (The Muse, The Oracle, and Baby J), and Audrey Rose Herman
Release Date -2014
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "They walk among us"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
      I have been lucky enough to watch a few vampire films over the last few months and most were surprisingly fun.  This reminded me of a time when I really loved vampire films before they became objects of romance and teenage drama thanks to the Twilight saga.  I really enjoyed the vampire films that had a lot of comedy and was mostly a teenage sex romp like Once Bitten and My Best Friend is a Vampire.  I also enjoy the vampire films where there was more vampires than humans like the prom scene in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the films Children of the Night, Stakeland, and 30 Days of Night.  The film The Caretakers brought that love of vampires out after I reviewed it and I did some searching around on Facebook when I came across the 2014 vampire film Mostly Dead.  I reached out to the page and they informed me that this was the filmmaker's first film and it was a learning experience.  My love of no budget horror pushed me further and I had to see it.  Thanks for sending this one my way.
     The film follows a group of survivors living in a secluded town where electronics, cars, and phones no longer work and it is over run by vampires who stalk the town at night.  The survivors has bunkered down in the church in the middle of town while the vampires pick them off one by one using different tactics.  During the day the survivors scavenge for food at various locations while hunting for vampires while they slumber to help even the playing fields.  While the survivors are barely surviving and the vampires are hankering for blood, we get several other characters like the mentally ill man who can sense vampires and is more that he lets on and vampires that are more than just blood suckers.
     I love writing reviews.  They help me relax and is a great way for me to give back to the horror community in one aspect or another.  When I first started writing reviews I would often rip apart films with pure disregard for all the hard work and dedication that went into the film.  However, over the years I have come to respect these films regardless if I like them or not and I have my numerous indie film making friends that I have met over the years to help open my eyes to all the aspects that go into film making.  Mostly Dead is a film that has some potential but was obviously a learning experience for the cast and crew.  The acting this one is not consistent from the cast and some scenes are a little rough to watch.  The cast has a hard time interacting with one another in a casual manner and most of the scenes feel like they are dialogue rehearsing and not actually acting.  Most of these scenes are painful to watch and can be a bit frustrating trying to follow the story when this happens.  There is a ray of sunshine in the middle of this and that is the lovely Lynn Lowry.  Lynn brought her "A" game and made her scenes very enjoyable but her character just felt out of place in the film.  The story for this one has a lot going on and is very busy.  The film introduces a lot of great ideas, characters, and situations but does not follow up with them leaving the viewer wanting more.  There really was a lot of great ideas brought about in this one but we never see these come to a boil.  The first is the creepy, older male vampire that has an entourage of children vampires.  I really wanted to know his story and why he only surrounds himself with children.  Was he a child molester when he was human or is he a man who can just communicate better with children?  This is something that was never explored.  There is also an angel angle that was never fully embraced that would have resulted in some serious kick ass fun.  The film starts a lot of things but never follows through with them.  Finally, the film has several on screen kills but ruins them with horrible CGI fire.  When a vampire dies their body explodes.  This would have been cool if it left ash, a pile of bones or something, but they don't.  Instead, they just disappear.  This was very silly to see.  Overall, Mostly Dead is a very ambitious film from a first time film maker. I applaud his efforts but the film falls short from being anything entertaining.  I would, however, love to see him revisit this with more experience under their belts and the story fully developed.

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