Label: Anchor Bay UK
Release date: 10 April 2006
Running time: 88 min.
Director: Matthew Leutwyler
Stars: Jeremy Sisto, Gina Philips, Ever Carradine, Portia de Rossi, David Carradine, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Erik Palladino.
DEAD & BREAKFAST directed/written by Matthew Leutwyler (THIS SPACE
BETWEEN US, ROAD KILL), is a horror/comedy pitched at fans of Sam Raimi's
EVIL DEAD movies and Peter Jackson's BRAIN DEAD (1992). It stars Jeremy
Sisto (WRONG TURN), Gina Philips (JEEPERS CREEPERS), Ever Carradine (JAY
AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK), Portia de Rossi (CURSED, STIGMATA), David Carradine
(KILL BILL, Q THE WINGED SERPENT, KUNG FU), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (SUPERNATURAL).
Six friends on their way to a wedding in Galveston stop to rest at a bed and breakfast in the sleepy Texas town of Lovelock. (Could this be a reference to the great Ray Lovelock, star of THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE, or am I reading too much into this?) The B&B resembles the Bates Motel from PSYCHO. They annoy the hell out of the staff by urinating in the front garden and putting their feet on the tables, and by the end of the first night, both the owner (David Carradine) and the chef of the B&B are dead. Under suspicion by the local sheriff and his buffoonish sidekick, the friends are ordered not to leave town in a hurry. But missing the wedding becomes the least of their worries when an evil spirit mysteriously possesses large numbers of the town's bizarre residents gathered at a hoe-down.
A siege ensues with the remaining friends joining forces with the sheriff and barricading themselves into the B&B, surrounded by redneck line-dancing zombies. Armed with nothing more than a rusty chainsaw, a can of petrol, and half a boxful of shotgun shells the carnage begins. However, the resourceful Sara (Ever Carradine) manages to fashion some handy metal tubing into a rather unwieldy two-person shotgun. Do I need to mention that the zombies can only be stopped by a shot to the head? Of course head-shots give better opportunity to showcase splatter effects.
The film recalls such classics as 2000 MANIACS with its crazy redneck villagers and H.G. Lewis style gore, THE EVIL DEAD and REANIMATOR for plot devices and - from CREEPSHOW, comic strip inserts. The director nicely uses the comic strip frames as shot transitions throughout the film, and also has a singing cowboy to fill in the story for us. The cowboy, Zach Selwyn, comes across as a Country and Western version of Sir Lancelot from Val Lewton’s I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (Jacques Tourneur, 1943), the calypso singer who sang of the events at Fort Holland. However, the malignant force isn’t voodoo this time around, but a Buddhist ritual involving the disinterred body of a dead child.
Although I cited H.G. Lewis earlier, the film’s special effects are very impressive; there’s a BURNING style garden-shears murder, heads are chainsawed, hammered, shot and explode, plus there’s a crossbow bolt to the eye. No expense was spared in this department. The soundtrack is quite interesting too, with its curious blend of Rockabilly, Country and Western and Hip Hop.
Sara makes a worthy adversary to the zombies, along with the eccentric Lisa Belmont (Miranda Bailey), manager of the Hall of Records, who tells a “campfire tale” about the Buddhist ritual, and resorts to military tactics to protect the town’s valuable documents. Sara emerges as a cross between Ripley (ALIEN) and Ash (EVIL DEAD) as she conducts battle in her blood-drenched vest.
Some of the comedy scenes seem somewhat laboured, such as the blood-skidding sequence after the first murder; in fact the film doesn’t really succeed at either horror or comedy. Its talking barn-dance zombies aren’t threatening in the least, and bring to mind Michael Jackson’s pop video “Thriller”. The films by Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson and Stuart Gordon that influenced DEAD & BREAKFAST, all managed to be scary as well as funny. But what this film lacks in scares, it more than compensates for in gore.
So, if you find yourself in the mood for some cheesy horror, with multiple horror-film references and lashings of gore, then this is the film for you.
Widescreen presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs
Audio commentary by writer-director Matthew Leutwyler, special effects supervisor Michael Mosher and actors Erik Palladino and Zach Selwyn
Audio commentary by writer-director Matthew Leutwyler and actors Ever Carradine, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Erik Palladino and Oz Perkins
Deleted and extended scenes
Zach's additional songs
Poster and stills gallery
Optional Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS.