How much you’ll like The Dead Don’t Die, Abnormal Attraction, and After Party depends on whether you like your humor dry, silly, satirical, or all three…and whether you like your horror movies zombie, silly, slasher, or all three. Here’s how this trio worked out for me. Two of them even landed on my does the gay guy die? page.
THE DEAD DON’T DIE (2019)
I was oddly fascinated by the director having the guts to present an overly long zombie movie using excessive dry humor delivered with agonizing gaps of silence and weighed down further by relentless running jokes that just become annoying. It feels like an unnecessarily drawn out in-joke just to get to the meta punch line.
And yet there’s loads of zombie action and gore, complete with a massive graveyard massacre, that all somehow feels like it’s going in slow motion (usually on purpose). Not to mention the cast is great, including Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Rosie Perez, Larry Fessenden, Tilda Swinton, Selena Gomez, Carol Kane, and Iggy Pop.
I can’t fathom putting Iggy Pop in your zomcom as an actual zombie rather than making it a running joke that he isn’t a zombie but people keep mistaking him for one.
Don’t get me wrong. There were some funny moment that made me laugh, a couple of jabs at Trump racism, and even an eerily timely news report about the idea that capitalism is more important than believing science. If only the movie had done its thing in 80 minutes rather than 105.
ABNORMAL ATTRACTION (2018)
It is such a relief to just watch a stupid monster comedy reminiscent of the slapstiçk style of the 80s. Director Michael Leavy assembles a load of talented comic actors, including Leslie Easterbrook, Bruce Davison, Gilbert Gottfried, and Malcolm McDowell.
However, not even those cast members can outshine Leavy’s own brother, who is brilliantly hilarious as a Wrong Turn inbred freak type.
A hunky pretty boy runs group therapy for people that fetishize and exploit monsters. not going to lie…I myself fetishized some of the male monsters in this film.
In a world where goofy monsters and humans must coexist, the monsters are treated like second class citizens, so a grim reaper and witch want to take down the evil humans.
They end up kidnapping the pretty boy therapist even though he has good intentions, so his fiancée forms a rescue team to infiltrate their monster haven and rescue him.
Monster jokes and sex humor abound—just the way I like it—as humans and monsters confess their wacky, dirty secrets and serious problems in therapy.
The dedicated cast also features indie icons like Lesleh Donaldson, Ron Jeremy, Tyler Mane, and much to my delight a radio personality named Bethany Watson, who was my favorite on a morning show until she left it a few years ago to pursue acting.
Adding to the fun is a good dose of campy gay jokes…and plenty of man nipple.
AFTER PARTY (2017)
This is a sleek and silly slasher that definitely has a late 90s vibe. It’s a combination of some very tightly executed kill scenes and a lot of nonsense filler delivered by a bunch of bitchy characters you can’t wait to see die. It also has some humorous moments that are quite satisfying because the cast nails the comic timing.
Essentially this is a satire taking jabs at the self-made celebrity of social influencers. A group of wannabe famous pretty people is invited to a big after party at a secluded mansion.
When they arrive they discover they are the only ones there…and that they’re trapped in the mansion. Little do they know that a killer in hoodie and smiley face mask is stalking them.
In classic slasher fashion, some huge tits are flashed, but overall this is disappointingly void of sex, especially since the biggest, beariest black guy in the group turns out to be gay. There’s even a funny segment of the guys playing a gay version of fuck, marry, kill.
The real highlight here is the killer’s work. What the film lacks in suspense and scares it makes up for in its brutal, stylized death scenes. Along with a 90s vibe, the kills often bring to mind the feel of Argento, whether intentional or not.
The big payoff comes in the killer reveal and motivation. You’ll never see it coming, but it definitely makes this one so worth a watch for horror and cinema fans.