Metro Weekly

Dead Serious

Reel Affirmations 2005

Review by Will O’Bryan

Rating: starstar (2 out of 5)

Saturday, 10/15/2005, 11:00 PM
Feature presentation, $9 at Lincoln Theatre

IT’S NOT CLEAR whether Michael Hein and Joe Sullivan, the team behind Dead Serious, had a story to tell, or just wanted to see how much special-effects blood they could pack into 77 minutes. If their motivation was the latter, they should be proud of their production. If it’s the former, they need to take a trip back to the editing room.

A low budget can forgive plenty in the way of production values. It cannot, however, forgive an unsettlingly convoluted story that involves two layers of right-wing religious nuts, a vampire army, one New York gay bar, a secret agent, an accountant, countless corpses, and — for no apparent reason — a crossbow.

While Dead Serious does manage to create a tense mood near the beginning, it fails to maintain. Tension may not have been what Director Sullivan was going for in the first place — he might’ve been shooting for a Psycho Beach Party-esque camp quality. There are plenty of cornball comments, but never any laugh-out-loud moments. It is campy enough, however, to diffuse the scares, leaving audiences with an un-frightening horror movie, or an un-funny comedy.

Again, if your film appetite runs to the bloody, you’ll get your fill here, with enough machine-gunning to give Rambo envy. Another possible upside is Brian Gianci as the cigar-smoking, gay, secret agent. Sadly, Sullivan allows him to keep his shirt on throughout. Be sure to sit through the techno, script-sampled music that accompanies the end credits.

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Shelf Wood
Dead Serious
Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.

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