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Sunday, March 13, 2011

DVD Review: THE DEAD HAVE RISEN (2006) and NOTHINGFACE (2007)

-------------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker-------------

I was very intrigued when Hayes handed me these movies to review. THE DEAD HAVE RISEN and NOTHINGFACE, both done by a company called Dirt Productions. There were no pictures or anything on the disks, so I didn't know what I was getting into and was therefore a bit hesitant.

Luckily, the lack of a picture is not worth 1,000 words. Both films are very good and I am glad I watched them.  Here's a brief description of each film; THE DEAD HAVE RISEN is a summary from me and the Nothingface synopsis is courtesy of the Dirt Productions website:
 
THE DEAD HAVE RISEN:
Edward and his girlfriend, Kate, visit his grandfather in the hospital where he is being treated for emphysema. But when they return the next day, something is very wrong: the hospital is in ruins and the dead are overtaking and devouring the living! Edward and Kate must fight their way through the hospital and escape before the flesh-eating dead find them. But when Kate is bitten, Edward must contemplate doing the unthinkable...


NOTHINGFACE:
Follow Jobe as he travels on an hallucinatory trip through the hellish nightmares of the world that surrounds him. After a routine visit to the dentist, Jobe befriends a toy robot who attempts to warn him of the dangers ahead. It's only a matter of time before Jobe finds himself in a maze of the obscure and a labyrinth of torture and skin-crawling nightmares as he is committed to a hellish insane asylum, only to come face to face with the head doctor himself, and then Jobe realizes out why he is really there! Poor Jobe!

Let me start off by saying both of these films are very well done for being low-budget productions. The cinematography in both is impressive, although the actual film quality in THE DEAD HAVE RISEN was lacking...I would guess that they used simple home video cameras to shoot it. But even so, both films are thrilling and entertaining, with great acting and special effects.

THE DEAD HAVE RISEN is a pretty familiar zombie story, but it's not one that you should ignore. I am very impressed with how the production team made the hospital look chaotic during the zombie takeover. That was no small feat. They did a great job with the details and it shows onscreen. I also like the great use of gore. For being low-budget, the team definitely used their money wisely.

One particular aspect that I enjoyed was the number of extras they used as zombies. When the zombie horde is beating on the outside glass of the hospital, it literally looks like there are hundreds of the living dead trying to get in! Very nice. That adds more realism to a film than most people give it credit for.

My only negative about THE DEAD HAVE RISEN is the film quality. In some shots, the picture is so grainy that it almost looks digitized. But luckily, there are only a few of those shots so it's almost not noticeable.

THE DEAD HAVE RISEN is my favorite of the two, but I do have to give serious props to NOTHINGFACE. It is a unique piece of film that you literally have to see to appreciate.

NOTHINGFACE looks like something David Lynch would daydream about. It is bizarre and surreal, almost to the point of being hallucinatory. But it totally works for the story and really helps to immerse the audience in to Jobe's plight. I do have to admit, though, that the ending is slightly confusing...I had to sit and think about it for a couple of minutes before I got it. Still, NOTHINGFACE is definitely worth checking out as well, if anything to see how background, setting, and extras can completely make a movie set look real.

Both THE DEAD HAVE RISEN and NOTHINGFACE are worthy to purchase and I will definitely have to get my hands on a copy of them. I hope the team at Dirt Productions can keep their momentum going and continue to produce good quality film like these two. It would not surprise me to see a feature-length production from them in the near future as well. Check them out...I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them soon.


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for THE DEAD HAVE RISEN
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for NOTHINGFACE
CLICK HERE to purchase THE DEAD HAVE RISEN on DVD
CLICK HERE to purchase NOTHINGFACE on DVD

CLICK HERE to visite the official website of Dirt Productions

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