×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dead and Breakfast

A stab at more commercial genre terrain after the Amerindie quirky comedy of his first two features ("The Space Between Us," "Road Kill"), Matthew Leutwyler's "Dead and Breakfast" offers plenty of splat with its slapstick. But this zombie yukfest is no more sophisticated than its nail-on-head title -- making it a joke no smarter than the movies it riffs on.

With:
With: Ever Carradine, Brent David Fraser, Bianca Lawson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Erik Palladino, Oz Perkins, Gina Philips, Jeremy Sisto, David Carradine, Diedrich Bader, Portia de Rossi, Vincent Ventresca, Mark Kelly, Miranda Bailey.

A stab at more commercial genre terrain after the Amerindie quirky comedy of his first two features (“The Space Between Us,” “Road Kill”), Matthew Leutwyler’s “Dead and Breakfast” offers plenty of splat with its slapstick. But this strenuous zombie yukfest is no more sophisticated than its nail-on-head title — making it a joke no smarter than the movies it riffs on. Recent success of “straight” undead pics “28 Days Later” and “Dawn of the Dead” should help ancillary sales, though as “Broken Lizard’s Club Dread” just proved, a lowbrow horror spoof sans stars or critical favor might as well bypass the bigscreen.

A rented RV bearing the usual assortment of annoying cannon-fodder hotties to a wedding gets off-track, and must spend the night at a B&B in hick burg Lovelock. (Strangely, no one thinks to sleep in the RV.) While others are off experiencing local color, dweeb Johnny (Oz Perkins) accidentally opens a box that holds captive some ancient evil or other, instantly turning him into the leader of the town’s fast-growing zombie horde. After a barn-dance massacre, survivors barricade themselves in the B&B.

Leutwyler aims for the tongue-in-cheek freneticism that made the “Evil Dead” pics and Peter Jackson’s “Dead Again” both scary and hilarious. But those films had wit, a quality sorely lacking in the sophomoric gags here. Complete with a faux-country troubadour who comments on the action in song, “Dead and Breakfast” is a bit too much like the party boor who laughs harder than anyone else at his own lame jokes. There’s a lot of energy, but it’s awfully imitative of those prior pics’ gonzo camera acrobatics, to an end generally more trying than inspired. Combination of pratfalls, plentiful gore FX, and smug condescension toward country types (though these yokels look like they hail from Santa Monica Blvd.) will no doubt play better after a few beers.

Playing various routinely exaggerated stereotypes, cast doesn’t have much to work with, and doesn’t contribute much, either. Beheaded early on, Jeremy Sisto appears so bored you might think him dead from the start. David Carradine also figures briefly to no particular gain as the B&B’s cagey proprietor. Feature could use a lot more of the skit-style comic flair flagged by Diedrich Bader as an incongruous French chef (who, natch, is also killed off after a few scenes).

Comic-book graphics between sequences only underline pic’s air of wink-wink superiority toward the genre it’s not quite sharp enough to actually satirize. All tech aspects are smoothly accomplished, however.

Dead and Breakfast

Production: An Ambush Entertainment production in association with Goal Line Prods. Produced by E.J. Heiser, Jun Tan. Executive producers, Miranda Bailey, Wang Ching, Joe Madden. Co-producers, Francey Grace, Julie Sandor. Directed, written by Matthew Leutwyler, from a story by Billy Burke, Leutwyler.

Crew: Camera (color), David Scardina; editor, Peter Flanagan; music, Brian Vander Ark; production designer, Don Day; set decorator, Lisa Clark; costume designer, Molly Grundman; special makeup FX, Michael Mosher; prosthetics, Richard Redlefsen; music supervisor, Michael Becker; assistant director, Michael K. DeVaney; casting, Kari Feyton. Reviewed at San Francisco Horror Festival, March 25, 2004. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Ever Carradine, Brent David Fraser, Bianca Lawson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Erik Palladino, Oz Perkins, Gina Philips, Jeremy Sisto, David Carradine, Diedrich Bader, Portia de Rossi, Vincent Ventresca, Mark Kelly, Miranda Bailey.

More Film

  • Black Panther

    'Black Panther,' 'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Westworld' Among Costume Designers Guild Winners

    “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” walked away with top honors at the 21st annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Tuesday night, the final industry guild show before the Oscars on Feb. 24. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” are up for the Oscar this year, along with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Mary Poppins [...]

  • WGA Writers Contract Talks

    Talent Agents, WGA Achieve Progress in Second Round of Talks

    Hollywood talent agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved some progress at their second negotiating session over agency regulations, according to sources close to the talks. The two sides met Tuesday, two weeks after their first meeting resulted in both sides criticizing each other, followed by the WGA holding a trio of spirited [...]

  • Aaron Paul

    Film News Roundup: Aaron Paul Honored by Sun Valley Film Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, Aaron Paul is honored, Bruce Berman is re-upped at Village Roadshow, and Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher get a book deal. FESTIVAL HONORS More Reviews Berlin Film Review: 'Flesh Out' Berlin Film Review: 'Marighella' The Sun Valley Film Festival has selected Idaho native and three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul as [...]

  • Olivia Munn]EMILY'S List Pre-Oscars Brunch, Inside,

    Olivia Munn Says Brett Ratner Called Her Before His 'Howard Stern' Apology

    Olivia Munn is setting the record straight about standing up to “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner, whom she alleges sexually harassed her over a decade ago. During a panel discussion at the Emily’s List pre-Oscars brunch at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Tuesday morning, Munn revealed that Ratner called her in 2011 after he denied [...]

  • Flesh Out review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Flesh Out'

    Ignore the awful English-language title: “Flesh Out” is an emotionally rich, sensitively made film about a young woman in Mauritania forced to gain weight in order to conform to traditional concepts of well-rounded beauty before her impending marriage. Strikingly registering the sensations of a protagonist living between the dutiful traditions of her class and the [...]

  • Marighella review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Marighella'

    Does Brazil need a film that openly advocates armed confrontation against its far-right government? That’s the first question that needs to be asked when discussing “Marighella,” actor Wagner Moura’s directorial debut focused on the final year in the life of left-wing insurrectionist Carlos Marighella during Brazil’s ruthless military dictatorship. For whatever one might think of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content