Deadly Movies Indie Scene | Stage Night of the Dead (2010)
Zombie Indie movies are a hard sell. Why? because the Indie market is full of them. When George Romero is asked for tips on breaking into the movie industry he offers “whatever you do don’t make a zombie film”. HOWEVER! ‘Stag Night of the Dead‘ is one the more entertaining Z-Indie flicks I’ve seen in a while. Key to this are production and concept.
I whole heartedly commend the production effort on display here. Sets and setting are fantastic, really making the most of a good location (a former US Army base in the UK). As for the concept, it’s wonderfully playful. The title may conjure images of drunk lads encountering the undead of Majorca, but rather we get the neat concept of zombies used for gun fodder on a kind of zombie-hunt paintball farm. Imagine if you will that, as the movie suggests, that a zombie outbreak occurred like the bird-flu pandemic, and has now passed. Would a civilized society really use walkers for entertaining target practice? Of course it would. And that’s the cleverness of the concept. This isn’t an apocalypse, but rather an outbreak has come and gone, and now Zombies are used for such frivolousness as paintball-style Stag Weekends. Some of the film’s publicity likes to liken it to ‘Shaun of the Dead‘, a grand claim yes, but this take on a zombie outbreak could certainly exist in the same narrative universe as ‘Shaun of the Dead‘.
The Stag’s are a decent bunch of actors, characterised to be a typical group of Brit, booze drenched, Stags. The stripper (the very lovely Sophie Lovell Anderson) and father in law are a great addition and help break up the macho dialogue. Speaking of which, the characters are growers, one in particular ‘Ronnie’ the stereotypical DJ-gangster-wannabe develops nicely from unbearably annoying to truly hilarious. Ronnie pouring his heart out to a female zombie was one of highlights for me.
There’s some decent kills and kill effects.., a hand through the back of a head and out the mouth was well executed. Only the Ghostbusters style stun guns let the concept down for me. But that’s nitpicking. Again in the world of Indie zombie horror this is aiming pretty high and is executed to a very high standard and to admirable effect.