Night of the Dead: Leben Tod
By: Michelle R. on December 11, 2006  |  Comments ()  |  Bookmark and Share
Director: Eric Forsberg
Starring: Louis Grahm, Joey Jalalian, Gabriel Womack, Deirdre Lyons, Lola Forsberg, David Reynolds
Screenplay: Eric Forsberg
Country: USA
Year: 2006
Duration: 90 minutes
Dr. Gabriel Schreklich (Louis Graham) is in the process of a medical breakthrough – he has invented, but not perfected, a serum that can resurrect the dead. Initially using frogs as guinea pigs, he soon graduates to experimenting on humans when his wife and young daughter are killed in a car accident.

Devastated by his loss, Dr. Schreklich attempts to bring his family back to life - despite the risk of dangerous side effects – at his private clinic where his nephew Peter (Gabriel Womack) also works as an intern. Peter, unaware of his uncle's clandestine medical deviancies, checks in his pregnant, anxious wife Anais (Joey Jalalian) as an inpatient, insisting she will receive the best possible care…despite being forcibly confined to her room.

Meanwhile a frantic couple rush unexpectedly into the clinic with their critically wounded daughter. Reminded by the premature death of his own child, the doctor desperately tries to save her via an injection of the serum. Suspicious of the hospital's unorthodox procedures, Anais ventures out of her room, and discovers Dr. Schreklich's  - now living – wife and daughter in a locked storage room, pleading for help. Anais frees them, inadvertently starting a bloody massacre as the serum has transformed the doctor's family, as well as the girl recently admitted as a casualty, into cannibalistic zombies. Will Peter and Anais escape??

Shot on video by indie director Eric Forsberg, Night of the Dead: Leben Tod strives to be a ready-made cult film, full of nods to horror classics (including a head-ripping scene inspired by the infamous dream sequence in Maniac), but it unfortunately steers clear of originality, instead sticking to well-worn genre territory by employing a familiar storyline and stereotypical characters (crazy German doctor, hulking, moronic assistant, muscular hero etc). No doubt the ultra-low budget being a contributing factor, the movie is also hampered by a number of glaring technical errors, and visually bland (most of the sets consist of dull hospital interiors, occasionally jazzed up by a handful of nice blue-tinted shots). The real star of the show is the over the top, messy FX - blood is spilled with abandon, with heads bludgeoned into pulp and bucketloads of sloppy intestines flung about regularly.

Hovering between drama and parody (camp overacting is abundant), Night of the Dead: Leben Tod doesn't quite succeed in this vein - it would have worked better as an out-and-out splatter comedy ala Peter Jackson's Bad Taste or Braindead. Lovers of cheesy gore will probably enjoy this the most – others will probably find the movie, aside from the occasional laugh, an overall disappointing time-waster.
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