Runtime: 84 minutes
Studio: Tempe Video
Review done by: Gruesome Griffon
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Starring: Stark Raven, Flora Fauna, Larry Johnson, Marina Del Rey
Directed by: Scooter McCrae
Synopsis: When the Angel of Death impregnates a mortal woman, God
punishes mankind by denying the dead passage to the great beyond.
Instead, the world has become a nightmarish existence where the
undead maintain a shaky peace with the living. These zombies don’t want
to eat your brains; they just want to be accepted by the breathing
In my book, it doesn’t matter what the budget is, but how well the
director can bring his or her vision to the screen. Sometimes it’s the
smallest of budgets that can create the most inventive and provocative
cinema. Shatter Dead was one of the first movies made on digital video
with an obvious microscopic budget. I imagine a part-time Burger King
employee makes more per year than the cost of this filmic venture.
However, writer/director Scooter McCrae (16 Tongues) plunges into the
story of Susan. Susan is a woman trying to cope with a world filled with
passive zombies and the living populace who hates and fears the undead.
All Susan wants is to get home to her boyfriend before society erupts
into a war between those who breathe and those who rot. Zombies with
an Emo attitude are as entertaining as that certain in-law who gets drunk
every Thanksgiving and proceeds to get into an economical debate about
Portuguese textile manufacturing.
Although the shock value merits the 2 rating, there is nothing else
redeeming in this movie. Even the late great schlock master Ed Wood
would be embarrassed. Shatter Dead has an interesting premise but
doesn’t deliver on the promise. Scooter should realize George Romero is
the only director who’s been able to get away with successful social
commentary in 3 of his 4 zombie flicks. It doesn’t help that everything
from the dialogue to the acting to the photography is worse than a high
school cable access show. The only difference is the huge amount of
nudity and gore shoveled on top of the plot like fertilizer. The lead
actress seems to really enjoy being naked on screen and doesn’t mind
proving it at every opportunity (she even gets naked for the DVD special
features for cryin’ out loud!).
But that isn’t where the shock valued ends. A pregnant character
receives the 1st shotgun C-section in movie history. The true leap into
tasteless happens when our heroine, unable to consummate her love
with her boyfriend, decides to substitute by masturbating on screen with
a hand gun. That’s probably why all the lead actors chose fake names on
par with the porn industry. Stark Raven? Marina Del Rey? Jeez… This
brings me to the big question: Which is worse – track star zombies or
whiny oppressed zombies? If you answered the latter, Shatter Dead is a
movie you should avoid. Scooter forces his views of class struggle by
presenting the undead as objects of sympathy. The zombies are
persecuted, discriminated and literally hunted down by the living. And
you know what? You probably won’t give a damn for the damned.