Review: The Dead Matter

01 Aug

This was a blind buy at a supermarket and it’s a weird low-budget piece of vampire hokum and it prominently features its two big star names on the cover Andrew Divoff and Tom Savini as two rival vampire lords hamming it up in a film so ridiculous that I cannot believe it was not a comedy.

Two vampire hunters McCallister (Jason Carter) and Mark Pym (Brian Van Camp) are fighting off zombies to steal a magic pendant that the evil vampire lord Vellich (Andrew Divoff in distractingIy long grey wig) is using in a ritual.They escape and split up with Mark taking the pendant to be destroyed and McCallister fighting off hordes of vampires or zombies or probably both. The bearer of the pendant can control the dead and that’s why Vellich wants it. Mark manages to get to some sort of altar surrounded by four standing stones. Vellich catches up with him and kills him but some sort of spirits stop him and drive him away from the altar and he leaves empty-handed.

Next day the main character Gretchen (Sean Serino) is standing over her brother’s grave so we know she’s grieving over him. Gretchen has a boyfriend Mike (Tom Nagel) who is incredibly boring. They also have two friends Frank (Christopher Robichaud) who is scientist working for a drug company and Jill (C.B. Spencer) who is a wiccan/pagan/new age whatever and it really feels forced having these mismatched characters as a couple. It is such tired old sexist cliché having the emotional spiritual woman and the sceptical rationalist man. Anyway for whatever stupid reason the writer managed to come up with, they go to the cemetery that night to have a séance at the very same altar from before so that Gretchen can try to talk to her brother. Gretchen finds the pendant and puts it on. They have the séance with Jill chanting some sort of spell out of her grimoire (!) to raise the dead and purple glowy special effects appear to enter them which seem to give them all confusing visions. It also makes the pendant glow.

The next night Gretchen and Mike are having sex when they hear a noise and find a zombie standing in Gretchen’s room. It is the re-animated corpse of Mark Pym but they don’t know that. They freak out and Mike attacks the zombie. Then Gretchen screams at it to go away which makes the pendant glow again and the zombie turns round and leaves. Gretchen quickly realises she can control the zombie with the pendant and wants to keep it around because of something stupid to do with her brother (because she’s grieving and all that) Mike is not at all happy about but since he only has a pout instead of balls he does nothing about it, not even when Gretchen decides to take the zombie to the bar to show to their friends. At the bar Jill takes on look at it and freaks out before going to puke her guts out while Frank takes a bit of convincing before getting very excited about a real zombie. So I guess Jill’s the rational one now.

Meanwhile in the other plot Vellich confronts another vampire lord Sebed (Tom Savini) because Sebed has vampires addicted to some new drug that he has sole supply of. This story meanders around the film before being fully revealed later as having very little to do with them main story. Oh yeah and that McCallister dude is still hunting for the pendant that he knows has not been destroyed.

This film plays this silly story straight for the most part but there’s a montage of Gretchen and the zombie filmed just like this a romance: Gretchen taking the zombie clothes shopping, going on a carousel and eating ice cream together. It’s just totally weird parody and after it’s over the film keeps going and no-one ever mentions it again. I don’t know who I would recommend this film to because it is not very gory, the story is daft and the acting is a bit rubbish. It’s tolerable nonsense that will probably turn up on cable TV.

Rating 5/10

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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Entertainment, Film


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