So this week, we’ve got a new entry into the category of “pathologically screwed-up horror by nation”. Japan no longer holds the title all by its onesies, folks…oh no. Japan’s old buddies the Germans have thrown their hat in that ring, and have done so in grand style. Presenting “Night of the Living Dorks”, a production that alternates wildly between cringe-inducing awkwardness (no one, no one, should have to listen to their mother describe how their father handled HIS morning wood issues, and certainly no one else should be subjected to it either) and uproarious comedy.
As for plot–there is one, surprisingly–three complete dorks (hence the title) have gone off into a graveyard to join some goths in a voodoo ceremony for raising the dead. This is largely because the nice guy dork and de facto leader of the dorks has a crush on the local stuck up prep chick and is appealing to his hot goth chick next door to put on the voodoo hookup. Naturally, as is generally the case when local goths put on a voodoo ritual (especially when they use frozen chicken and a “pentagram” with six points), something goes wrong, and thus, our dorks become zombies. What follows is–and I get the feeling I’ve said this before–a regular zigzag course wavering from cringe-inducing awkwardness (banging the school hottie and getting walked in on by the cute girl-next-door goth chick while you’re trying to appeal to said goth chick for a cure for your zombie state) to uproarious comedy (having to staple-gun your junk back in place following said banging.).
There have been a lot of comparisons to other movies thrown around about our dork feature, but I think one has been missed above all. Anyone else see the Devon Sawa / Seth Green vehicle known as “Idle Hands”? Well, if you liked “Idle Hands” then you’re going to get at least a few chuckles out of “Night of the Living Dorks”. Sure, it’s “Idle Hands” low-budget and really, really Deutsche cousin, but if you’re prepared to forgive some awkwardnesses–guys, it’s GREAT that you have the presence of mind to try and do a “Thriller” parody but dammit anyway, you really need to license the MUSIC to pull it off!–you’ll get plenty of good laughs in return.
Anyone expecting a zombie epic or a survival horror smackdown is in the wrong place. What you’ll get here is art thievery, a string of bad ideas, a house party to make John Hughes cringe, lots of high school clique interfighting (wow…guess they’ve even got this kind of thing going on in Germany.) and of course, plenty of the good old fashioned teen movie cliches that we thought were swamped when Randy Quaid showed up in the teen movie that actually made fun of other teen movies, “Not Another Teen Movie”.
On the downside, the subtitles are a joke. What the characters say on the English audio track only occasionally matches up to what the subtitles claim they say. But this is a relatively small downside and only really a problem for the hearing impaired. The ending is an absolute riot, plain and simple, and features everything you’ve come to know, love, and maybe even loathe about this kind of movie.
The special features includes English subtitles, English and German audio, an alternate ending, a behind the scenes featurette, deleted and extended scenes, a blooper reel, and trailers for “Night of the Living Dorks” and “Night of the Living Dead 30th Anniversary Edition”. All in all, despite the lousy subtitles and some really, really awkward moments, “Night of the Living Dorks” manages to be an excellent synthesis of the zombie movies we all love and the teen movies that we begrudingly tolerate.