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Directed by Directed by Corbin Bernsen
Written by Written by Kenny Yakkel
Starring Starring Bill Moseley, Corbin Bernsen, Patricia Tallman, Larry Drake
Produced by Produced by Corbin Bernsen, Chris Aronoff
First off, for those of you expecting a zombie movie, you will be somewhat disappointed, but only somewhat. See, Dead Air isn’t really a zombie movie so much as it is one of those 28 Days Later-esque “rage virus” movies.
And this is directly related to the plot—in Dead Air, a handful of what I’m guessing is Arab terrorists as I don’t recall any specific mention of just where they were from, sets off a biological weapon at a college basketball game. In fact, it sounds like several of these were set off all over the United States, at large gatherings. The biological weapon in question works about like a kind of super-rabies, or even, yes, a “rage virus”, turning people into snarling subhumanoids who want nothing so much as you, dead.
Thus, it’s left to the uninfected to try and survive this catastrophe, including a handful of folks working the late shift at a radio station, to not only survive but also try and get word out by keeping their call-in show on the air during the crisis.
This isn’t just an excellence in journalism sort of movie, folks, this is a good old fashioned flesh ripping dystopia romp that’ll make you want to run out and buy a gun lest your neighbors end up just like these guys. There’s plenty of action here and loads of fun besides. Bill Moseley has always been good in whatever he should happen to land in—he may well have been one of the only good points about both House of 1000 Corpses and Repo: The Genetic Opera, and he’ll go on to be one of the many high points about this.
Okay, sure, it can be a little formulaic in that it’s yet another movie about Arab / Muslim / whatever terrorists, kind of like Die Hard meets 28 Days Later, but it’s still pretty entertaining and there will be some great and worthwhile twists going on here to keep things running nice and smoothly. Once you get past a couple of plot elements that really aren’t worth anyone’s time or effort, you’ll find a pretty solid film lurking underneath. And yes, most of the cast is actually kind of unnecessary, as the solid core of Moseley, Moscow and Tallman are pretty much keeping things running all by themselves here, but those three are so good that you hardly notice that everyone else is pretty much just along for the ride.
The ending is actually a pretty big surprise, though not necessarily a well explained one. I’ll let you catch that for yourself.
The special features includie a commentary track, a trailer for Dead Air, a behind the shot featurette explaining some of the better shots, and a featurette called “fly on the wall” where you’ll get to watch Patricia Tallman and Bill Moseley talk shop between takes.
All in all, Dead Air is a pretty sweet little package—maybe not as good as it could have been, but still plenty of fun to go around.
Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.
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