DEAD AGAIN (2020) Reviews and overview

   

‘Lockdown won’t save you’

Dead Again is a 2020 British science-fiction horror feature film in which an alien viral infection suddenly turns earthlings into flesh-eating zombies.

Written, co-produced, photographed, directed and edited by Steven M. Smith (Scare Attraction; The Haunting of Borley Rectory; Doll House; Doll Cemetery; The Howling), the Rellik Films-Greenaway Entertainment production stars Tony Fadil (Scare Attraction; The Doll Master; House of Salem), Elliot Cable (Scare Attraction), Mark Wingett (War of the Dead; Doll House), Chris Monk and Sonera Angel.

Plot:

Little Pitchfield is a sleepy rural village where crime is non-existent and Police Sergeant Cooper (Tony Fadil) is retiring out of boredom. He is sent a young recruit fresh out of police school, P.C. Bruce Brody (Elliot Cable) to take over his duties. However, all hell is about to break loose…

Review:

Notwithstanding the fact that the first footage in Dead Again is brief off-putting clips of inept politicians Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Emanuel Macron spouting on about the COVID-19 pandemic (recalling Charles Band’s opportunistically dire Corona Zombies), this is undoubtedly Steven M. Smith’s most agreeable and accomplished horror movie to date.

For starters, there is good-natured generational banter between the two coppers – played by Tony Fadil (as soon-to-retire weary Sergeant Cooper) and Elliot Cable (as by-the-rule book rookie P.C. Bruce Brody) – that sets up the comedic tone nicely. In particular, Cable seems to have got the tone of officialdom just right. We’ll overlook the fact that the location of the supposed police station in the rural village setting is actually the back of a terrace house down an urban alleyway.

The slacker sergeant wistfully regales the recent recruit with a tale about a UFO sighting accompanied by a spate of thefts from every property in the village that occurred seventeen years previously on Guy Fawkes Night. Unbeknownst to the plodding pair, it seems that the aliens have now returned.

A kidnapped woman, a mutilated creature, a young couple of lovers investigating in the woods, an old bloke warning about the danger… It’s not long before a zombie siege ensues at the old manor house (a delightfully decrepit location) and that’s the set up for the rest of the action.

Clearly, the plot is certainly nothing original but the delivery is at least confident and brisk. Along the way, there’s suitably atmospheric synth accompaniment composed by Darren Wonnacott and some decent zombie makeup supervised by Isabella Larter.

As is often the case with many low budget productions nowadays, the short running time includes nine minutes of end credits to bolster it up to an acceptable 75-minutes. Granted it’s a cheeky approach and yet more welcome than including unnecessary filler footage that viewers have to sit through instead.

It’s hardly a spoiler to reveal that towards the rapidly impending end there’s some cheesy FX footage of the “total devastation and destruction” caused by huge alien spaceships besieging major cities. But given the obviously low budget and jocular tone of the proceedings beforehand, such as when film fan Sergeant Cooper gleefully expresses a desire to be like Ripley from Aliens, it’s hardly out of place.

Ignoring the hyperbolic press release tease that Dead Again is like “Hot Fuzz meets Shaun of the Dead” (why set up such comparisons for critics to easily dismiss?), it’s actually an enjoyably tongue-in-cheek low-budgeter that the cast, crew and Steven M. Smith can all be proud of.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

“The comedy is great, all the roles are played well, the VFX and practical are above average for what i assume was low budget, when it turns into a pure action flick I found myself starting to get really invested and happily for me they paid of the jokey setup towards the end that unashamedly made me fist pump the air.” 365 Flicks Pod

“Some giant alien spaceships are thrown in for no obvious reason and there is cheeky footage of Trump and Boris discussing COVID-19 as if it’s a zombie plague, Although the film is noticeably light on actual gags (the funniest moment is a fart), Smith gets the comic tone spot-on, with eccentric characters playing it straight in extraordinary circumstances, and good chemistry between the leads.” British Horror Revival

” …the star of the show is Fadil as Sean ‘Starsky’ Cooper, who gets some great lines and is very convincing as a village copper who exists in a state of constant ennui. The rather confusing alien invasion plotline seems like an excuse to shoehorn in some admittedly impressive CGI of a mother ship, but it doesn’t matter, as this is amiable stuff…” Dead Eyes of London

“It also looks like Greenway Entertainment spent a bit more on Dead Again than usual. The hordes of zombies and the fact we get to see the UFOs definitely elevate this over many low budget efforts […] It’s not quite the Hot Fuzz meets Shaun of the Dead mashup the publicity claims it is. It’s more like Split Second meets Alien Party Crashers. But that’s enough to deliver a good time in front of the television.” Voices from the Balcony

Release:

Dead Again will be released in early 2021.

Main cast and characters:

Tony Fadil … Police Sergeant Shaun Cooper
Elliot Cable … P.C. Bruce Brody
Mark Wingett … Bob
Chris Monk … Dan
Sonera Angel … Katie
Kit Pascoe … Ellen
Primrose Bigwood … Judith
Jimmy ‘The Bee’ Bennett … Billy
Michelle Archer … Police Controller
Silas Welsh … Running Alien Creature
Jake Taviner … Eating Alien Creature
Can Somer … Chasing Alien Creature
Anastasia Cane … Lead Alien Creature
Will Pryor … Bath Alien Creature
Debbie Tarrier … Patrice
Rad Brown … Smart Alien Creature
Paul Durso … Boxing Alien Creature

Technical details:

75 minutes

Stills images are copyright © Gaz De Vere 2020

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