All Soul’s Day

| April 7, 2006

Well, by now you’ve pretty much had your fill of zombie stew, so just to add to the glut of walking dead flicks is All Souls Day (with the added parenthetical subtitle Dia de los Muertos tossed in to make it sound that much more intriguing), a cut and paste gore fest about a bunch of hard partying students who head from the OC down to Mexico in search of some action. Instead, they find themselves in a horror flick with a laughably implausible story, rife with more holes in it than the collective faces of the zombies who’ve showed up to chew the scenery.
This zombie fiesta came out of the Slamdance Fest and originally aired on the Sci Fi Channel. I’m really not sure why Anchor Bay decided to give this horror flick the treatment–multiple “making of” featurettes; audio commentary; deleted and extended scenes; screenplays; even a 14 page booklet with pictures and thoughts from the director Jeremy Kasten (who helmed the equally exhausting The Attic Expeditions)–because it’s pretty much just another by-the-numbers bloodbath with nothing going for it except the ample gore FX (and what good are ample gore FX when you’re too busy futzing with the FFWD button?). Besides the gallons of blood and yards of torn zombie flesh, little effort was spread elsewhere to the other elements of the movie, such as script (as I said, by-the-numbers), characters (the usual smart-mouthed horny teens and creepy slow-speaking mysterians), costume (the old time Mexicans look like they’re wearing outfits seen in those Old west photo kiosks) and direction (though the actors like to pontificate about all the back story of their characters and how well the director helped them develop their characters, they don’t seem to do much besides worry about how cool they appear up on screen).
Here’s a clue that the movie you’re about to watch is gonna be stone cold clunker: when the director of the flick (who appears ostentatiously dressed in a eccentric suit and tie on the movie set in the DVD extras behind-the-scenes piece) says: “Rosemary’s Baby is a scary friggin’ movie. I don’t know why, but it just is.” If the director of a movie doesn’t know how to aesthetically observe and breakdown another film (even a horror film), then he himself probably isn’t gonna make a movie that shows any originality or creativity.

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