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Worth A Look: 34.78%
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5 reviews, 16 user ratings

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Dead & Breakfast
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by Scott Weinberg

"Hilarious horror movie or adorably gore-drenched comedy?"
4 stars

Oh, it's a "horror / comedy"? Sounds...interesting...I hope. That's the reaction that the sub-genre has earned after yielding decades of shoddy product. The key seems to be this: pick horror OR comedy, build your foundation with that, and then use your second choice to support that foundation. 'Dead & Breakfast', while certainly a hybrid of the humorous and the horrifying, is most assuredly a COMEDY first; just one that has lots of rotting zombies and grisly gore splatters. Whatever you call the flick, it's a whole lotta goofy good fun.

Only in the world of indie filmmaking can you concoct (and get financial backing for) a movie best described as a "modern western / comedy / musical / zombie gorefest". A movie like this is created not by a board room full of pie-chart gazing bean-counters hoping to cash in on the current demographical tendencies, but by a few clever young filmmakers who clearly possess an affection for the most revered horror conventions.

The plot sounds as thin as anything you'd come across on any DVD cover: a collection of young adults are travelling through Texas on their way to a friend's wedding. An ill-conceived shortcut leads to Nowheresville, and the gang are forced to spend the evening at a creepy old bed & breakfast. A midnight murder leads to an investigation, which leads to the discovery of an eeevil voodoo box, which immediately leads to the creation of a small army of undead Texans with a taste for human blood.

But what may sound like a conventionally entertaining Zombie Flick is actually a whole lot better than that, because Dead & Breakfast is as funny as it is blood-gushingly gross. And both of those are obviously good things for a horror/comedy to be. The humor ranges from broad silliness to in-joke schtick to sickening slapstick, and writer/director Matthew Leutwyler's screenplay boasts a disarmingly impressive batting average.

The goofball sincerity and sarcastic delivery of Leutwyler's ensemble cast help elevate the material at every turn. Jeremy Sisto (May) and Erik Palladino (U-571), both old pals of the filmmaker, deliver pitch-perfect performances; the actors clearly know the sort of movie they're making, and they do it exceedingly well. On the ladies' side, Gina Philips (Jeepers Creepers) and Ever Carradine (My Boss's Daughter) are as amusing as they are lovely. Which is high praise indeed.

Special notice is due to the hilarious Zach Selwyn (an actor/musician last seen as one of the finalists on ESPN's Dream Job) for his role as country singer / one-man Greek chorus / good ole boy Randall Keith Randall. The narrative of Dead & Breakfast is frequently interrupted by Selwyn's witty little ditties; these divergences offer some of the movie's biggest laughs.

Plus keep an eye out for some great cameos from people like Portia de Rossi, Diedrich Bader and genre-master David Carradine.

Dead & Breakfast starts out with tongue planted firmly in cheek, delivering a healthy dose of broad (and mildly satirical) humor - and gradually tips its scales over into the realm of hardcore gore. That the movie approaches both genres with such a confident and effective approach is a deceptively difficult accomplishment. How many horror / comedies can you cite that actually represent both genres equally well? I'll save you the trouble: very few.

'Dead & Breakfast' is made for people who've seen hundreds of C-grade horror flicks, and find something to love in all of 'em. Even the really bad ones. It's grisly, it's goofy, and it's a damn solid piece of entertainment for the Gorehound crowd.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8853&reviewer=128
originally posted: 03/30/04 01:53:38
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2004 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 San Francisco Horror Film Festival. For more in the 2004 San Francisco Horror Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Boston Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Boston Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/23/11 faccio stupid yet hilarious. gotta love the music interludes!! 4 stars
3/17/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess It was ok. 3 stars
2/06/07 AJ Muller Yes, this flick is nuts. And totally retarded. No, I don't know why I dug it so much. 4 stars
2/24/06 wormhole Hillarious line dancing zombies. Awesome. Randall Keith Randall rocks. 5 stars
11/19/05 Sam Justus real neat. 4 stars
9/25/05 K. Sear Fun and entertaining. 4 stars
7/19/05 mm A great film 5 stars
6/21/05 Jill Lachey totally hillarious! gross. silly. 5 stars
5/05/05 Me great 5 stars
10/29/04 Dana Johnson Best Movie Ever!! 5 stars
9/21/04 jill horowitz So so so so FUNNY! 5 stars
6/18/04 j.r. mitchell undeniably masterful in playing both sides of the horror/comedy fence. Laughed my ass off. 5 stars
6/01/04 ellis kicks ass!! 5 stars
3/26/04 Sheila Cassani Great movie 5 stars
3/22/04 ric saw at sxsw midnight screening. totally original twist on zombie genre 5 stars
3/20/04 movieguy a great film 5 stars
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  N/A (R)
  DVD: 06-Sep-2005



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