‘Dance of the Dead’ (2005)

Robert Englund as the Twisted MC in "Dance of the Dead".
Robert Englund as the Twisted MC in "Dance of the Dead".

from Showtime’s “Masters of Horror” series

Directed by: Tobe Hooper
Starring: Jonathan Tucker, Jessica Lowndes, Robert Englund, Melena Ronnis, Marilyn Norry

This story revolves around a post-apocalyptic town where re-animated corpses of friends and enemies dance on stage for the few people who survived a nuclear holocaust. Peggy, a naïve girl, learns of the dangers of the outside world and the sacrifices made to guarantee her survival. (from tv.com)

Quickie Review
I’ve got to say starting out that I’m a heretic. I don’t like Tobe Hooper’s body of work – at least what I’ve seen of it. That includes “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen so many films that have used the same techniques that the original is kinda lacking. Maybe I just need to look at it from a historical context. As for his other works, I tend to think that it’s because the characters in his movies are just so unlikable that I develop no fear for their well-being that I’m not afraid of the killer showing up – in fact, I’m impatient for it. This addition is no exception.

The Good: Well, it’s got Robert Englund… even though he looks like a male drag queen. The effect of the burns caused by Blizz was pretty OK.

The Bad: Have you even known people who seemed to be so sweet and nice and then you see them do something or say something that makes you think maybe they aren’t so nice after all? That’s the feeling I get from Peggy. I know not all heroes are perfect, but I get the feeling that she’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing the whole time.

The Ugly: Wow… where do I start. Perhaps I should credit the actors with great acting in being almost totally loathesome. Or maybe I should blame the writers for making people so unpleasant. But really, give me someone to root for. Give me one character who isn’t fatally flawed in one way or another: someone who’s not stupid and duplicitous (Peggy), batshit crazy and selfish (Peggy’s mom), a junkie geriatric-abuser (Jak) or just a douche (Boxx).

On top of that, I got the feeling from it that it was so much more than what it was but just got stripped down to it’s barest elements. There was dialogue that seemed like it was part of something that had deeper meaning, but ended up just feeling out of place.

Joe Lopez
Dubbed, "TerrorScribe" by a former editor, Joe made the conversion to horror sometime in the mid-2000s. Little did he know he'd favored the genre all of his life. When not struggling with short stories, he provided genre film reviews for local entertainment sites and later genre sites who could suffer his cynical views.

It was that same cynicism - and some might say hubris - that lead him to have a brief flirtation with filmmaking. His first two efforts, "Annotated" and "Antes Que Seja Tarde (Before It's Too Late)" both premiered at a local H.P. Lovecraft film festival. A third short, "Survivor Girl" proved to be his undoing though plans are in the works to revived the cursed project.

Born and raised in Dallas, TX., Joe now resides in a small Texas town. Statistics say more dead bodies turn up in small towns that big cities... though he claims to have NOTHING to do with that.
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