Dead List Image

Dead List

By Norman Gidney | May 8, 2018

A group of actors begins to be murdered in mysterious ways when one of them acquires a death dealing, demonic book to further his career.

A group of actors sits in the waiting room of a casting office. The group of actors is all vying for a coveted role in the next Martin Scorsese movie. They chat, they banter, yet we know that they would take each other out given the chance. Then one of them does. That is the basic idea behind the new movie Dead List in which an actor takes his vengeance on fellow actors through the use of a mysterious, leather-bound tome that literally flies into his lap. Told in a sort of convoluted way, we are initially unclear on who of these hard-working actors used satan to better their career. But we find out soon enough. Actually, we find out a little too soon. But we will get to that.

“…we know that they would take each other out. Then one of them does…”

After meeting the gaggle, the grouping, the murder, of actors (what is that called anyway?) We see the deadly book. Upon the blank pages, fiery letters scrawl the name of the first victim. Then we jump right into their story. Told anthology style we are given the name of the victim, then we see how they were killed in inexplicable ways. All of this leads to discovering just who in the group is the one pulling the curse over on the gang. Leaving the mystery in the lurch, we discover that Cal (Deane Sullivan) has cursed the crew. Sorry for the spoiler, but the movie doesn’t let the mystery linger and drops the revelation on us a good 20 minutes in.

Written and directed by Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen, and Victor Mathieu, this is not a bad movie, but a movie struggling with limited means yet having the passion of ten movies in hopes of telling a good story. This is a group of talented, eager, and willing filmmakers who aren’t waiting to be given permission to create a horror movie. No, they just did it with the talent and resources they had. For that, they are to be commended. For the dialogue though? “Hollywood is a dog eat dog town and everyone’s going for crab legs” Just an example of some of the choice repartee.

“…the passion of ten movies in hopes of telling a good story.”

The production is average to acceptable with highlights that include a bizarre death by drill bit, a homeless lady with seemingly poison fingernails, and a gloriously gory meltdown in a bathtub. The sound is all over the map and at a certain point, you simply go with it. The performances in front of the camera are all eager and excited to entertain, yet with nothing remarkable to do.

Yes, the story does come to a close. However, that is only AFTER we see a portion of a mystery, then are handed the revelation, then we jump back into the mystery of who is doing what to whom. It’s a novel, almost Pulp Fiction approach to the usual supernatural whodunnit, that doesn’t exactly work.

I want to see these fine gentlemen continue to work. They certainly have the drive to do so. Now, can someone give them something worth doing?

Dead List (2018) Directed by:   Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen, Victor MathieuWritten By:  Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen, Victor MathieuStarring: Matt Fowler, Rob Healy, Jan-David Soutar, Eric Pierce, and Holden Andrews

Dead List gets three stars ***

Norm’s Rating System: ****(GREAT) ***(Good) **(Ok) *(Awful)

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