TheWalkingDeceased_2DI’ve always subscribed to the idea that film parodies only work when they’re played straight. When the situation is what brings the laughs, instead of continual references and camera winks, so to speak. Films like the SCARY MOVIE or A HAUNTED HOUSE series never quite did the trick, with turning cliche-filled parts of the films they were poking fun into just a series silly jokes, with no staying power, once the scene was over. What made films like AIRPLANE, THE NAKED GUN and even TOP SECRET! or GET SMART work so well, is how straight they were played, almost as if the viewer was the only one IN on the joke, making each gag work tremendously well. The Tim Ogletree-written/Scott Dow-directed parody on all things zombie, THE WALKING DECEASED, unfortunately falls into the former category, relying on over the top and continual references to the films and tropes that they’re poking fun at, and in turn being not only a bit forgettable, but falling a bit flat right from the get-go.

Taking from AMC’s hit zombie show, The Walking Dead, films like WARM BODIES, ZOMBIELAND, and a nonstop frustrating reference to George Romero, THE WALKING DECEASED wastes no time in letting its viewers know that it’s bypassing subtle homage, for over the top, obvious jokes. Watching an episode of The Walking Dead, you’re already annoyed with how often Carl is mentioned, but in THE WALKING DECEASED, it’s just enough to grab the closest screwdriver and slam it into your ear. Focusing on a group of survivors banding together to escape the zombie apocalypse, you’re given characters that are caricatures of everyone from TWD’s Daryl Dixon, ZOMBIEWORLD‘s Woody Harrelson’s character, and pretty much the entire sink thrown in for good measure, but what instantly tilts the ship over until the film drowns, is how in your face and continual the gags are. There isn’t time to get to know your characters whatsoever, before you’re subjected to countless one-liners, bad setups and even worse punchlines.

It’s like taking characters from any undead entries in the last ten years, and just making fun of them, without any real homage taking place whatsoever. It’s a shame, because had the film played it straight, and allowed the awful situations the characters find themselves in become the source of its humor, the film might have worked on some level, but it just crashes before it has a single chance to take off, making it yet another attempt closer to any of the EPIC MOVIE-like fare. Throw in what has to be one o f the longest pot-smoking scenes in recent history, and you’ve not only got and unlikable story, but characters that just make you want to look for the remote before the credits even have a chance to roll in front of your eyes.


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