Detention of the Dead is a fantastic example of getting a respectable zombie flick together on a micro budget. This cool indie probably cost less than Brad Pitt’s free t-shirt budget for World War Z! At a half million dollars, this is $399.5 million cheaper than WWZ, but entertained none the less, proving the most humble of flicks can be just as worthy. You can forget about special effects, or meticulous sets, instead we got great acting and an unoriginal but funny script. The fact is this, for a tiny budget, this film works very well, and even though it’s a mashup of every horror comedy ever made, and The Breakfast Club, it’s still a damn good movie!
A group of kids get detention, and all are the stereotype kids from a hundred movies just like it. The goth chick, the geek, the cheerleader, the jock and of course the asian guy (in keeping with racial stereotypes). There are a few others but still cloned and familiar. One of the guys is holding his bandaged hand, which Ash (Justin Chon) has a look at. It’s a pulsating mess and within a moment he turns into a zombie. The zombie bites the teacher, then suddenly the place is filled with them, so our group of amusing miscreants board themselves up, and the story unfolds in earnest.
The smaller stories built around the zombie theme are very good, nothing outstanding or even original but very well acted and really enjoyable. There was some crazy slapstick gags, like Eddie (Jacob Zachar) having his testicles roughly accosted by a zombie, which was funny I suppose. But the main story was the love triangle between Eddie, Willow (Alexa Nikolas) and Janet (Christa B. Allen, Revenge) which was actually just as important as the zombies. I could easily watch this again, and think you should give it a try. It’s worth it.
An excellent example of a well done horror comedy, on a budget.
Grade: B+ (6.5/10)
Review by E. Blackadder, special to Influx Magazine