Goofy, Gore-Happy, Lame 

An Overpriced Dead & Breakfast

Dead & Breakfast
dir. Leutwyler
Opens Fri Aug 26
Hollywood Theatre

You've heard it all before: Group of semi-likeable teens gets stuck in a small town where something seems amiss; night falls, and soon afterward zombies/werewolves/vampires/aliens (take your pick) attack, at which point said group of semi-likeable teens has to fight their way through the town in the hopes of surviving the night.

That's exactly what happens in Dead & Breakfast (so actually, I guess you've pretty much already seen the movie). What separates D&B from most other horror films, however, is it's more of a comedy than a scary movie; aware of his unoriginal concept, director/writer Matthew Leutwyler relies on jokes over shocks. (Not to mention a few outta-left-field cameos: David Carradine, Portia de Rossi, and that annoying dumb guy from Drew Carey all make inexplicable appearances.)

And sure, D&B isn't scary, but it isn't that funny, either. There are plenty of clever ideas—a narrator/troubadour (a character that's swiped from There's Something About Mary, but is still pretty entertaining), a gleefully immature use of cartoonish gore, and character actors who make D&B's characters more defined and personable than any teenage horror film characters have a right to be. But for everything that D&B does right, it does something wrong: Its script takes too long to get going, the cast's comic timing is spotty at best, and there's a reliance upon too-easy hillbilly jokes and buckets of fake-looking blood (instead of things that'd be more entertaining—like, say, funny hillbilly jokes or buckets of real-looking blood). By the time one of the many self-aware characters quips, "This is like a bad horror movie," the line feels more accurate than tongue-in-cheek.

In the end, it's just kind of a mess, albeit a vaguely entertaining one. (How can you not enjoy a horror flick that includes the inevitable chainsaw-enabled blood-spurting scene, but also doesn't shy away from a faux-hiphop musical number?) But as clever and fun as a gore-happy comedy sounds, Dead & Breakfast is a little too uneven, and way too self-aware—unfortunately, the film's never as good as its concept, nor is it nearly as clever and funny as it thinks it is.


Comments are closed.

From the Archives

More by Erik Henriksen

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy