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Review: DEAD AGAIN (2020)

Having suffered through Corona Zombies, the first few minutes of Dead Again, the latest film from Steven M. Smith (Doll Cemetery, Doll House) raised a warning flag for me. The film opens with news footage of various world leaders talking about COVID-19, and I had visions of having to endure another attempt at comedic cash-in. Thankfully, the film quickly goes off in an entirely different direction.

Little Pitchfield is a quiet town, there haven’t been any incidents in seventeen years. That last one was quite memorable though, with the UFOs and all. But now the town’s one policeman Police Sergeant Cooper (Tony Fadil, Soldier of War, House of Salem) is retiring out of sheer boredom. However, on what should be his last, and Constable Brody (Elliot Cable, Scare Attraction) first day on the job, that’s about to change.

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They and a handful of other survivors find themselves trapped in a crumbling manor house with flesh-eating zombies outside. Thankfully, Bob (Mark Wingett, Dark Ditties Presents The Witching Hour) has been expecting this and has quite the stockpile of weapons. However, the zombies aren’t their only problem.

Keeping its running time short, (just over an hour without credits) and its pace fast, Dead Again is an enjoyable blend of horror and humour. The mix of creepy scenes, eccentric characters and a good supply of zombies works well. The manor itself provides plenty of dark hallways to creep about in. There’s plenty going on to keep the film from dragging or wearing out its welcome.

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I know some may feel the short length is a cheat. But as I said in my review of Float Trip, I’ll take a short film with just enough exposition to work over one padded out to some arbitrary feature-length. Especially in low-budget films where padding doesn’t mean a few extra random killings.

It also looks like Greenway Entertainment spent a bit more on Dead Again than usual. The hordes of zombies and the fact we get to see the UFOs definitely elevate this over many low-budget efforts. Granted, the alien ships and the destruction they cause aren’t the most convincing I’ve seen lately. But they’re better than much of the rank CGI I’ve seen, too.

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It’s not quite the Hot Fuzz meets Shaun of the Dead mashup the publicity claims it is. It’s more like Split Second meets Alien Party Crashers. But that’s enough to deliver a good time in front of the television.

Dead Again is currently scheduled for a Halloween release. You can check the Greenway Entertainment Facebook page for updates.

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