DVD Review: The Dead Hate the Living
The Dead Hate the Living (2000)
Studio: Full Moon
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2000
Directed By: Dave Parker
Cast: Eric Clawson, Jamie Donahue, Brett Beardslee
Brutal As Hell Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 stars
Review By: Brian McNail
The Dead Hate the Living is the definition of low budget horror done correctly. The budget was apparently spent in the correct fashion of purchasing props and make up effects and finding decent unknowns to act as low budget/college actors. The plot focuses on a low budget horror film being made by Eric Clawson’s character named David Poe who is a struggling film director who and I quote “dreams of being the next Romero or Fulci” and Brett Beardslee character Paul who wants to be the next Tom Savini with his make-up and special effects. The entire movie does a pretty good job of showing its appreciation early on for Romero and Fulci as they give nods to the Godfathers of Zombie Horror.
The movie opens with our villain Dr. Eibon after he has apparently finished creating a means to revive the dead, however his creations turn on him drag him away. Our credits roll, then we are treated to what I think is the only love scene I have ever seen between a zombie and a human, which then turns out to be part of the overall movie being shot in Eibon’s hospital. We get our gratuitous introduction to the entire cast of characters after Poe yells cut arguing ensues and the cast go their separate ways. Only to be conveniently reunited in Eibon’s laboratory where they discover a coffin with Eibon’s body inside, the coffin it seems is hooked up to a power source and like any good idiots they turn on the coffin. Eibon awakens in his coffin and becomes for lack of a better term the Necromancer from Hell. He then releases his zombie minions to bring the crew to him dead or alive so they too can join his army.
I must admit after watching all the above “plot” for about 40 minutes I was about to turn off the movie, due to my new rule about watching zombie movies without zombies (See the review on Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things). I would have missed out on an incredible hour of mayhem, destruction and camp. This movie is just plain and simple fun to watch. There isn’t a whole lot of language that gets in the way or nudity but there is plenty of that sweet zombie violence as well as a full head removal. All in all while I watched this I thought this is what would happen if myself and some buddies were in a horror movie including the line “What Would Bruce Campbell Do?” This movie is literally one nod to previous Zombie movies after another, ranging from characters reciting lines from The Reanimator to talking about The Beyond. Two movies in my own personal opinion that don’t get the credit or recognition they deserve.
The DVD is also packed full of extras making it a must own if you can find it. DVD includes making of, storyboards, a music video featuring the band Penis Flytrap, commentary notes from the entire cast and plenty more making it a good bargain DVD on content alone.