A Cadaver Christmas (2011) Review: Irreverent Indie Fun
“Never Leave a Mess Unclean!”
Synopsis: A ragtag band of misfits, led by the janitor, are the only ones who can stop an outbreak of the undead before it spreads through the town.
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Indie movies are always a fairly mixed bag, but I was pleasantly surprised by A Cadaver Christmas. Though the acting was pretty mediocre, the rest of the film was generally strong enough that it wasn’t a major hindrance. I was entertained for most of the movie – which, by the way, gleefully hit Codex Mortis requirements for gore and boobs.
The plot is pretty mundane – a group of misfits try to contain a zombie outbreak. The explanation for the zombies is also generic (and ridiculous), and the pacing is off a few times, but generally speaking, A Cadaver Christmas is a fun example of lots of horror movie cliches. We have some one-liners, some gross out moments, and tons of fake blood. While the effects are good (especially for an indie flick), the zombie actors are generally laughably bad, which creates a hilarious juxtaposition.
Despite meh actors and mediocre plot, there’s a lot to appreciate here. The filmmakers gave their piece a lot of polish – it’s shot to look retro, including film scratches and rotary phones. While they don’t always work, there are a lot of clever and creative camera angles, including one early shot via TV reflection, which I loved. The credits have the pizazz of a box office film, and the music is generally good as well.
And there are a lot of moments that are just plain fun. Zombies are impaled with various pieces of janitorial equipment and office supplies; there are a number of callback gags; the drunk guy decides to narrate the zombie slaughter. The ending also has a surprising amount of feels for such a silly movie – and even better, the movie comes with consequences. (Frequent readers will know that consequences are one of my favorite things in a horror movie.) Make sure to watch through the credits as well, as there’s some additional footage while they scroll.
Though A Cadaver Christmas may not quite be at the same level, it definitely has the feel of an old school indie movie that we all now know and love. It’s sillier than the early Evil Dead movies, but the irreverence and gore are pretty similar. Definitely give this indie flick a chance – I think you’ll find it worth your while.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B-
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