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By Steve Anderson | January 4, 2008

It’s hard to talk about a movie that watches like a parody of a K-Tel music ad; a movie that plays the oldest slasher movie standards like it invented them all is tough to deal with. Are they just horribly unoriginal and playing it straight? Or are they feeling their Colbert and just ACTING like they invented all the horror movie standards?

I’m vaguely unsettled by the fact that Brian Singleton actually
introduced his own DVD. It lends a note of surrealism to the
proceedings, watching this guy in the rumpled, rolled-up cowboy hat
with a bottle of hooch wrapped up in newspaper telling us all about
the joys of what we’re about to see.

And…well…we’re about to see some weird s**t here, there’s no
doubt of that. Look for such exciting horror movie standards as
“Crazy Old Guy at the Gas Station”! “Do The Light Switches Ever Work Here?”! “H***y Teenagers Get Chopped Up The Fastest”! and one of my personal favorites, “So Very Canadian, Eh?”!

Never mind that one of the protagonists is actually named “Johnny
Rebel” and spends much of the movie talking about himself in the
third person. Never mind that the other two male protagonists have
French-Canadian accents so thick they could be broken into pieces and thrown at their enemies. Never mind that, despite all logic and
reason, there are three women actually prepared to sleep with these
three wastes of skin.

Never mind all of that. Because “Forest of the Dead” is going to be
a profoundly shaky mix of mindblowing humor and sheer mindblowing
suck. There’s gonna be a puppet show involving logs and sticks,
surprise homosexuality, “moonshine”, and–as if that weren’t
enough–it’ll take almost half the movie for a body to hit the floor! Yeah!

Oh…wait…that’s bad. In fact, most of that’s bad. A puppet show
involving logs and sticks? Surprise homosexuality? And what the
f**k is “moonshine”, anyway? Has anyone drank moonshine since the
eighteen hundreds passed by? And don’t even get me started on the
absolutely godawful decapitation scene they tried to stage. It’s
just really, really weak sauce–trust me on that one. Cheesy enough
to get melted over nachos.

If I tried to list all the problems “Forest of the Dead” had, with
even just its characters, I’d be here all afternoon and you wouldn’t
even need to watch this.

I’m not sure what they were going for here. If they were trying for
a slasher parody, they hit the mark pretty cleanly. Standards played out like they just invented them and characters so cookie-cutter they could’ve come in a box? Horror parody, clean kill. If, as the back of the box suggests, they were trying to play a straight horror flick, they failed miserably. This thing is only scary in the sense that, when you’re done watching it, you’re terrified that it may not come out of your DVD player and you’ll be stuck watching it for the rest of your life. And by the time they bring in the zombies–oh yes, there will be zombies–any point will have pretty much left the building. CAN they even be playing it straight when they bring in the zombies?

All in all, if you want a good laugh, you could probably do much
worse than “Forest of the Dead”. But if you’re looking for some
actual old-school slasher action, just go get one of the classics.
You’ll be a lot better off.

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