Writer-director Alex Zajicek makes his feature-length debut with Sorry, We’re Dead. The meta-comedy stars Sarah Lee as Lana, a lecture video editor. Her co-workers drive her crazy, especially Burd (Davied Morales), whose color blindness and fondness for experimentation leads to all sorts of mayhem. However, her boss, Will (Kelechi Nwadibia), and roommate, Monica (Anna Sharpe), help Lana stay slightly sane.
However, when a hard drive that wasn’t backed up goes haywire, Lana’s life is turned upside down. The movie being made begins to react to her, and she to it. Scenes turn black and white. Text appears to define specific words. Is Lana’s life just a flick, or are these things happening to teach her something?
Sorry, We’re Dead is a wild ride. The way Zajicek bakes the process of filmmaking directly into the story allows for creative flourishes. However, instead of coming across as indulgent or flashy, these elements are natural and fun. It’s tough to get into more of what happens without spoiling the plot, but the meta angle works brilliantly.
“The movie being made begins to react to her, and she to it.”
The script is also quite funny. Lana’s mom sending her clothes has a great payoff. An exchange between Lana and Bertha (Katherine Park) about monotone voices is utterly ridiculous in all the right ways. However, some characters are less dimensional or memorable than others. Burd has several facets to him, but Lana also works with Michael (Chris Morrell), who is absurdly chipper and… and nothing else. The actor is fine but has little to do outside of being happy. The other people populating this screenplay have a nice amount of depth. This character barely registers.
Lee is hilarious as the always-irritated lead. Her deadpan perfectly conveys Lana’s emotional state and confusion once the movie intrudes. Morales is tons of fun as the bumbling but sweet Burd. Chesi Ho portrays Lana’s mom and makes quite the impression in just a few scenes. Sharpe helps keep everything grounded no matter how fantastical it all becomes.
Sorry, We’re Dead is an ambitious full-length debut. But Zajicek has the chops to pull it all off. A vital side character could be developed more, but there’s so much good here that one mistake is not enough to bring the picture down. The filmmaker smartly uses the meta stuff to comment on art and people’s relation to it. The cast has excellent comedic timing and shares an authentic chemistry that crackles throughout the 86-minute runtime.
For more information, visit the official Sorry, We’re Dead site.
"…an ambitious full-length debut."