------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------
I have to say this up front: this movie is not what I expected. I thought the title was referencing a substance (‘matter’) that had something to do with the dead. Instead, the title is actually a statement, proclaiming “Those that are dead do matter.” This wasn’t a problem, although I did realize pretty quickly into the film that my assumption about the title had been wrong.
THE DEAD MATTER is a very good film, though, and one you should definitely give a look. It’s only been out for a couple of months, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding it. The plot for the film is this:
The film tells the story of a guilt-ridden young woman desperate to contact her deceased brother who discovers a powerful, ancient relic that controls the dead. Her dark obsession drags her into the tangled world of two warring vampire lords, each with his own sinister plans for the artifact, and a vampire hunter who will stop at nothing to destroy it. It’s a mix of classic horror themes with modern twists and a touch of dark humor that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Let me start off the review by saying this is one visually beautiful film. The sets and locations are right on, continuously helping to set the mood for each scene. Whether the characters are in a bar or out in the woods, the filmmakers did an outstanding job of complimenting the emotion of the scene with the surroundings.
And the acting is top-notch as well. I was especially happy to see horror-legend Tom Savini in the credits. Savini is one of my favorite horror icons and always (to me) lends a sense of credibility to any production. The rest of the cast was on par with Savini, with each member using a unique personality to bring their characters to life. This is refreshing to see, especially in a genre that is super-saturated with low-budget schlock films full of so-called actors that can’t actually act.
It is also very interesting to see a vampire-zombie cross-genre hybrid movie. I can’t recall the last time I saw vampires and zombies in the same film, but director Edward Douglas does a fantastic job of weaving them both together in the story. There’s even a nice plot-twist, about three-fourths of the way through, that I didn’t see coming at all.
The special effects for both vamps and zombies are superb, although I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with the lack of gore. There is a bit of blood here and there, and a couple of heads are literally torn off, but even so, there’s not much carnage that is actually shown on-screen.
My only true complaint about the film is that there are a few scenes where the background musical score (which is excellent, by the way) is so loud that it drowns out the dialogue of the actors. I had to rewind a couple of scenes more than once and read lips to try and figure out what was being said. But other than that, the film is a true gem.
A couple of my favorite scenes:
-In a dream sequence, a teacher in a classroom calls on a young boy to answer a question. When the boy gets the answer wrong, the teacher instructs the class to eat the boy. Nothing is shown, but the overall impression is rather disturbing.
-A zombie (affectionately known as Mark) is ‘invited’ in to a bar for a drink…and does just that.
-The amulet reanimates the dead…including the lunch meat in the refrigerator and a girl’s hair.
Even if you’re not interested in the movie thus far, you should check it out just for the scenes I mentioned above. They were darkly funny and made for interesting side-notes to the plot.
Full of thrills and dark with, THE DEAD MATTER is a great film and one that is definitely going into my collection.
Note from Zombie Hayes: Great Review Scott! One additional note, this film was made by the legendary gothic Horror band, Midnight Syndicate. They were formed in 1995 by composer/director Edward Douglas. Check out their website to purchase awesome music CD's....great for your Halloween parties this year!
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of the film and watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD