If you’re gonna’ try to con me at least have the decency to attempt a professional grift like the glim-dropper, the melon drop, or even the wire game. Don’t insult my intelligence with a bait and switch. I hate the bait and switch. This is exactly what the movie Rise of the Dead is, a sheep in wolf’s clothing, or more appropriately, a ghostly revenge tale in rotting zombie attire.
Let’s take a look at the picture of the DVD that I posted above. Notice the title, Rise of the Dead. It seems like an homage (blatant fucking ripoff sounded so harsh) to any of George A. Romero’s classic “Dead” flicks. Now let’s look at the picture itself. It looks like an undead man with rotting teeth is bursting through the ground at a cemetery. Throw in the tag line: “WHEN THE UNDERWORLD TAKES OVER” and you have yourself what seems to be a bonafide zombie flick, right? WRONG! I know full well never to judge a book, or movie, by it’s cover, so how about when you flip the movie over to read it’s summary and the first thing you read is: “A FRIGHTENING ZOMBIE THRILLER!”?
In Rise of the Dead, murder does occur in the redneck town of Dudley, Ohio, but not in the form of reanimated, rotting corpses. Nope, all of the mayhem is centered around ridiculously named, Laura Childs (Erin Wilk). I say “ridiculously named” because Laura is being tormented by the ghost of her “child” that she just so happened to give up for adoption. A stereotypically hillbilly accident involving a loaded gun, a child, and two negligent adoptive parents, leaves Laura’s unwanted baby, Gage, dead and wanting revenge.
From start to finish, Rise of the Dead was extremely unfocused. It seemed to be wanting to take a serious stand on issues that are well beyond a movie that doesn’t understand the difference between a zombie and ghostly possession. The end result is so convoluted that no single issue could be distinguished. Is the movie against teen pregnancy, abortion, adoption, religious zealots, or atheists and agnostics? The only concise message that came across was the issue of unattended, loaded firearms around children. Other than that, it was a cluster-fuck of social commentary, sub-par acting, and banana-boob nude scenes.
Don’t waste your money on Rise of the Dead. Instead, if you want to watch a terrible ghost movie with the whole “I just want my mommy” theme, go see The Ring 2. It sucks, but at least it knows it’s a movie about a ghost.