A zombie hoe-down is something that has always sounded very pleasing to me. S**t kickin’ and flesh munchin’, now there’s a hell of a time. With “Dead & Breakfast,” I was close to seeing such an event transpire. Close but no cigar. I’ll explain later.
A group of friends packed in a RV get lost on their way to a wedding, so they decide to spend the night at a spooky little Southern bed and breakfast owned by David Carradine. Spooky is as spooky does, little sleep is had by anyone before the owner turns up dead from an apparent heart attack and his cook is found splattered all over the kitchen. The local huckleberry authorities insist that their new visitors stay in town as they’re now a part of a murder investigation. This leaves plenty of time for the nosy city folk to go poking around where they shouldn’t, ultimately cracking open a box containing an angry spirit that winds up turning the inhabitants of the town into bloodthirsty ghouls. Cue the carnage.
So they’re ghouls. Ghouls not zombies. When I first mentioned this film here on this website, I reported it as being a zombie movie. S**t, sure looked like a zombie movie to me. There’s even a shot in the trailer that looks a bit like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” But alas, these are walking, talking, thinking ghouls, which is perfectly fine with me. Doesn’t change the fact that the aforementioned hoe-down sequence is perhaps the most entertaining redneck gathering since a bunch of trailer trash teens became legends in “Heavy Metal Parking Lot.”
From the hair raising hoe-down forward, “Dead & Breakfast” is a complete bloodbath as the survivors from our group of friends board themselves up in the bed and breakfast, fending off a growing army of monsters. But what stands out here is not the massive amount of gore, but the quality. Blue-faced creeps aside, the blood and guts of “Dead & Breakfast” conjure memories of Peter Jackson’s redder and wetter earlier works. The gore is stellar in this one and it makes “D&B” stand out from the rest of the pack.
And like Jackson’s earlier films, there’s an affinity for goofball comedy as well. Actually, the comedy here is more akin to the gags found in Blood Feast 2. If you dug Herschell’s latest, you’ll no doubt enjoy “Dead & Breakfast.” To give you an idea of the humor of “D&B,” the musical interludes and full-on dance number, which would have difficulty finding a way to fit into most other horror movies, totally work here. It’s just that silly and it’s a bloody good time.
But as much fun I had with this film, I can’t help but feel like David Banner from “The Incredible Hulk” TV show. Where David wandered from town to town looking for a peaceful existence, I wander from horror film to horror film looking for another zombie epic. This monster mash tickled my a*s pink, but now I’m off again, heading down the road, thumb waving in the wind, wearing someone else’s drawers I stole off a clothesline, on the search for my ultimate zombie nightmare.