Anchor Bay Entertainment presents
Dead and Breakfast (2004)
"This is like a bad horror movie."- Sara (Ever Carradine)
Stars: Ever Carradine, Brent David Fraser, Bianca Lawson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Erik Palladino, Oz Perkins
Other Stars: Gina Phillips, Jeremy Sisto, David Carradine, Diedrich Bader, Zach Selwyn, Miranda Bailey
Director: Matthew Leutmeyer
Manufacturer: Crest National
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (extreme gore and splatter violence, language, drug usage)
Run Time: 01h:28m:01s
Release Date: 2005-09-06
Genre: black comedy
DVD ReviewWhile horror movies can be designed to shock through gore and splatter effects, taking them way over the top will typically induce comedy (if somewhat gut-clenching comedy). That principle was recognized in such modern classics as Brain Dead (Dead Alive) and Shaun of the Dead. Dead and Breakfast takes the genre to a new level, with the same slapstick sensibility as those earlier films combined with the rural Texas isolation of From Dusk Till Dawn and the doomed vibe of Cabin Fever.
Six friends are on their way to a wedding: driver Johnny (Oz Perkins), the maid of honor Kate (Bianca Lawson) and her boxer boyfriend David (Erik Palladino), slacker Christian (Jeremy Sisto), vegan Melody (Gina Phillips) and the only sensible person in the Winnebago, Sara (Ever Carradine). Completely lost in South Texas, they wind up in Lovelock, where they stop for the night at the bed and breakfast owned by Robert Wise (David Carradine). That night, they find the French chef Henri (Diedrich Bader) brutally murdered and Wise dying, and a mysterious drifter (Brent David Fraser) is lurking around the house. The sheriff (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) tells them not to leave town, and the group stays against their better judgment. But Johnny accidentally knocks open a strange box and is transformed into a murderous zombie, and he recruits the town people under his undead spell. Soon the gore is flying as the kids have to try to defend themselves with makeshift shotguns, axes, and of course, chainsaws.
The humor here is mostly limited to slapstick and the physical, with plenty of goofiness in contrast to the constant goriness. There's also a load of rural humor and culture shock such as when Melody comes face to face with deer hunters and rampant country music. Quite a bit of drug and alcohol humor is included along with the tobacco spitting. The comic book quality of the proceedings is underlined by the inclusion of numerous comic-style panels in transitions. Several nods to other horror movies are included, such as an Evil Dead poster in a closet and the chainsaw nod to that series, and several shots of the house that evoke Psycho.
Two things tie the film together nicely. Ever Carradine does a fine job as the lead, exasperated with her friends but constantly doing what she can to try to keep them alive. Zach Selwyn is quite entertaining as Randall Keith Randall, the gas station attendant who also sings and plays guitar throughout. His songs comment on the action like a Greek chorus, warning Johnny not to touch the box and making wisecracks. The songs (also by Selwyn) are pretty humorous, with a fine country twang and a bluesy rockabilly edge to them. Even after he gets killed and zombified, the songs and commentary continues, giving the picture a unique flair.
The effects are quite impressive, from the most credible severed heads I've seen on film to the constantly gouting gore effects and comic mutilations. The verisimilitude of the nasty visuals just underlines the comic aspect of the rest of the movie, making the combination quite amusing. This is the uncut film, with all the gore cuts for an R rating reinstated. The cast is fairly young, but quite competent, with numerous television actors lending a hand: Jeremy Sisto from Six Feet Under, Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development), and Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show) turning in some entertaining if small parts. For those with a sick sense of humor, this is a hugely enjoyable zombie romp. And how can you resist a film that includes hip-hop/country line-dancing zombies?
Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+
|Aspect Ratio||1.85:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: As is appropriate for a 2004 release, the source print is in fine shape and the transfer is detailed. Color is vivid, and the reds are bright without being problematic. Black levels are deep and textures are quite attractive.
Image Transfer Grade: A
Audio Transfer Review: Both 5.1 and Dolby Surround versions of the soundtrack are included. The soundstage is fairly limited, however, although there's decent bass. The music sounds quite good and the audio is quite clean.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English (closed captioning only) with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Man with the Screaming Brain, All Souls Day: Dia de los Muertos and It Waits
8 Deleted Scenes
2 Feature/Episode commentaries by 1) writer/director Matthew Leutwyler, special effects supervisor Michael Mosher and actors Erik Palladino and Zach Selwyn; 2) Leutwyler, Palladino, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Oz Perkins
Layers Switch: 01h:05m:07s
- Additional music
- Poster and still gallery
Extras Grade: A-
Final CommentsSick and twisted zombie humor with first-rate and excessive splatter effects, complete with a ton of extras.
Mark Zimmer 2005-09-07