TROPHY HUSBAND JACK WADE KIDNAPS HIS COMATOSE WIFE, ANEX-HOLLYWOOD STUDIO EXEC, IN AN ATTEMPT TO KILLER HER SO THAT HE CAN COLLECT THE LIFE INSURANCE AFTER SHE SCREWED HIM OUT OFACCESS TO HER FINANCES. WHEN SHE COMES BACK ... more »FROM THE DEAD TOHAUNT HIM, JACK CANT DISTINGUISH REALITY FROM DELIRIUM.« less
Juliana A. Callahan | Batavia, IL United States | 04/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
Dead and Gone is a genuinely creepy black comedy in the tradition of the "Evil Dead" series. This horror film is exceptionally well directed, cleverly written, with an inspired use of light and color and special effects. The one thing that stays well buried is the low budget.
An out of work actor who married for money takes his comatose wife to a deserted cabin in the mountains, where he immediately encounters ghosts, zombies, fearsome, horny rednecks and some demons from his own black soul. His love interest is the local constable, who has been so damaged by her experience in Iraq she won't even carry a gun. That decision comes back to haunt her, along with "things" far worse than any bad dream or bad choice.
There is solid acting, especially from Quentin Jones, who is on-screen throughout most of the film. It also has good quality makeup effects and superb music by genre master Harry Manfredini.
Kyle Gass from Tenacious D does a wonderful supporting turn as perverse TV evangelist Reverend Grass. Chris Bruno from TV's "Dead Zone" among others, contribute cameos. Ben Moody from Evanescence also appears.
Dead and Gone's screenwriter Harry Shannon comes in at the end as the philosophical sheriff. He also sings the theme song, "Forty Years of Pain" (which he wrote) in his yearning, sexy growl. And Trainwreck does a terrific up-tempo version of the song over the credits.
Yossi Sasson's debut effort looks classy and fresh in a crowded field.
Kealan Patrick Burke | Ohio | 06/09/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Cheap-o B-movies are a dime-a-dozen these days, cluttering up the market and appearing on Pay-Per-View movie channels, most of them without trailers so you can't see how terrible they are until you buy them. Classy. Quite frequently I'm sent review copies (screeners) of horror movies, and roughly 99% of them are utter tripe, and really leave you wondering if the Blair Witch era of "anyone who has a camera can be a director" filmmaking was really such a positive thing.
Thankfully, for every dismal, amateurish waste of film, there are little gems. And while DEAD & GONE only just misses greatness, there's certainly enough style and substance to warrant giving it a look.
First off, the style. The look of the film is superb, and immediately raises the quality of the picture above average. Filmed in HD (which is still no gaurantee of a nice-looking picture if the DOP hasn't a clue what to do with it), the makers of DEAD & GONE clearly know what they're doing, and make the most of the technology available to them. Aside from a few hiccups, there's little to say this hasn't been lensed by a veteran.
The same applies for the sets/locations. All are used to the max, and they work wonderfully, aiding in the construction of an unsettling and credible milleu. The cabin was creepy, the woods were creepy...it worked for me.
Acting: This is where some of the film's worst faults can be found. While some of the leads are terrific (particularly the female sheriff and the Main Man with the Plan), some of the more peripheral characters are wince-inducingly bad. Which is, I suppose, only a fault to those who, despite being used to bad acting in B-movies, still hope that it'll get better someday. On the plus side, never is it bad enough to have you reaching for the STOP button. Taken as fun, it works a treat.
Likewise, there are areas of the script that could have used cutting and rewriting, or just plain cutting. What looks good on paper doesn't always sound good coming out of the actors' mouths, and there are one or two instances of that here. Again, not enough to condemn it.
The story itself is pretty simple and straightforward, and that works well here, aside from a bit of a convoluted middle, where things begin to sag, only to liven up again in the third act.
Special effects: Top-notch. Again, a nice suprise that a low budget feature manages to pull off special effects that rival movies with ten times the budget. No complaints here.
Overall, quite a capable little number from a bunch of filmmakers who clearly have the passion needed to go on to great things. And while the movie has its faults, I would highly recommend this as a Friday night popcorn movie, perhaps as a double feature with EVIL DEAD.
The humorous streak in the script says that nobody involved is taking the subject matter too seriously. Those who go into this with a similar mindset will love it.
A bravura first effort from a talented team. "
Marc Brener | 06/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you're not already familiar with "Dead and Gone" you can check out a trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0n94UKCAAU Bottom line, if you support indie horror, you'll probably enjoy this movie. Fangoria called it "the bastard offspring of The Evil Dead and Twin Peaks," or something like that. Clever script, lots and lots of crude humor to make up for the occasional flaws (and a bit of so-so acting in spots). Some great makeup fx and super music, real chills from a new director. A real treat for fans of B movies that don't take themselves too seriously. DVD extras a pretty cool, especially the "making of" section, "Gone With The Dead" by Chris Ackerman."
A return to classic horror
Douglas Maclean | New York, NY USA | 06/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This may be the first screenplay offered up by Harry Shannon but he is a man of considerable experience in the horror genre. He has been a successful novelist in the genre for many years now with his books well received by the critics and public. He is a man of many talents including composing and performing music. His novels cover topics that range from suspense, mystery and even a werewolf or two thrown in for good measure. With such a versatile background this film could not do better in the script department. Shannon wrote the theme song for the flick and took a turn in front of the camera. He provides the first twist in the plot by having the trophy spouse as the husband. The couple on the verge of finical ruin so he takes his comatose wife up to a remote cabin in the woods, something he won in a poker game. Naturally, as things go in stories like this, the area has a bad reputation. Awhile back a man went crazy in that cabin and killed his family. The isolation begins to wear on the man until he is not sure what is real and what just his overactive imagination. This is one aspect of the story that sets it above the pack. There are elements of a psychological thriller blended in that keeps the audience constantly guessing as to what will happen next. Shannon was influenced by the old EC horror comic that infused dark humor into the stories. He takes a similar approach here breaking up the tension with such black comedy. This doesn't impede the movement of the plot it just gives the audience a little change of pace and a chance to catch their breath between the spookier parts. His characters are mostly fully fleshed out and believable with enough of their own back stories to make them interesting. This is a refreshing change from the cardboard cut outs in so many horror flicks of late.
This film is the directorial debut for Yossi Sasson but you would never guess it. He has a natural knack for this kind of work. While many of his contemporaries try to shove in as many film school lighting and camera tricks possible in their freshman opus Sasson remains true to the real impact of the genre, the scare. He has a straightforward style that lets the story unfold on its own without the prodding of the director. He seems to trust that the actors are professional and will give a good representation of the characters in the script. This is a man with style and an eye for framing each scene to near perfection. He also showed his commitment to the film by getting some of the best possible crew members to work on it. The music was scored by Harry Manfredini who did most of the `Friday the 13th' flicks as well as a legion of other horror flicks. He knows of to foster the dark mood with his music. The makeup is great here, far better than the usual Indy horror flick. This is no surprise since they were supervised and produced by Dan Crawley. He has worked on a variety of projects that include the television horror series `Buffy the Vampire Slayer', `Angel', and the recent mainstream thriller `Awake'. He also did special effects for `World Trade Center' and `Apocalypto'."
An creepy and intense chiller
Horror Addict | San Francisco, CA | 06/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For the genre this is a good one!!! Creepy and intense psychological horror. Kept my interest and at times tongue in cheek funny."