07th Oct2020

‘The Living Dead’ Blu-ray Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Jessica Jane Stafford, Paul Danan, Hakan Hussan, Aurie Styla, Bradley Turner | Written and Directed by Fredi Nwaka

Fredi ‘Kruga’ Nwaka writes and directs his feature debut, The Living Dead, a British movie about a robbery that goes very wrong, resulting in five criminals taking shelter from the police in a castle. This turns out to be a poor idea as they find themselves in a haunting situation.

A comedy-horror with crime on the top, this is a strange film when it comes to the tone. It took me a good few minutes to even begin to get used to the delivery of dialogue and the over-the-top style. It feels like an amateur play, or a late-night television British B-movie. Poor acting, awful dialogue, and a story that, while teetering on entertaining once in a while, tends to fall flat 99% of the time. This was a really disappointing film, at the end of the day, and I’m sad to say that. I’m a fan of the comedy-horror genre, but this did very little to make me laugh, and even less to scare me. It fails in the horror department and tries way too hard on the comedy side of things.

The story itself, following these so-called criminal wannabe’s, has a couple of moments. Seeing buffoonish characters get thrown into difficult situations can be fun. There are a couple of moments here that were fun enough. The castle itself, however, something that I thought could salvage the film by providing an atmospheric location, is sadly wasted. This was just handled very poorly, and the slapstick and dated kids-show sound effects and music pulled me further out of the film. There just was no tone, no atmosphere, nothing to point to and say… “that worked”. Nothing, sadly, worked for me with The Living Dead

Overall I thought The Living Dead looked and felt cheap, and the performances across the board were silly and tepid. Nobody seemed too bothered to be there, and I can’t say I blame them. I don’t go out of my way to dislike a film, and I really wanted to find something to enjoy in this, but I just didn’t. It felt confused, haphazard and the characters, for the most-part, were irritating. There was no reason to root for anyone, nothing to keep you involved. The score even felt like something a bloke decided to throw together in ten minutes in his spare bedroom on a Sunday morning. It all just feels very amateur.

A bewilderingly poor comedy-horror that delivers dated gags amidst a background of gangsters and would-be criminals, The Living Dead is, indeed, dead before it even gets going. A shame, too.

The Living Dead is out now on Blu-ray, in the US, from Gravitas Ventures.

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