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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 34.78%
Average: 28.26%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

5 reviews, 16 user ratings

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Dead & Breakfast
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by Brian McKay

"Grab your partner by the Trachea, it's an undead two-step ho down"
5 stars

The San Francisco Horror Fest (aka, "Another Hole in the Head") went out with a bang, as it presented SF native Matthew Leutwyler's psychobilly splatterfest DEAD & BREAKFAST to a packed closing-night house. The fact that the house was partially packed with Leutwyler's cast and crew only added to the festival atmoshphere, with whooping and hollering aplenty. However, it's not like he needed to lace the crowd with his own people to get a vigorous and favorable audience response, because DEAD & BREAKFAST is the funniest gorefest to come along since last year's CABIN FEVER.

Cue to six friends in a Winnebago (Ever Carradine, Jeremy Sisto, Oz Perkins, Gina Phillips, Eric Palladino, and Bianca Lawson), traveling to another friend's wedding and running late. When they get lost along the way, they decide to stop for the night and rest up in the one-horse hick town of Lovelock. Here they meet a singing and guitar-strumming gas station attendant named Randall Keith Randall (played with considerable zest by Zach Selwyn). Like some Nashville Rockabilly Hip-Hop lounge lizard, Selwyn provides a huge chunk of the film's laughs with his musical narrative between chapters. In fact, the use of Selwyn's musical segues, combined with some very cool-looking and blood-drenched storyboards drawn by D&B producer Jun Tan, make for one of the most innovative approaches to storytelling that you're likely to see in any film of the campy blood and guts B-movie variety.

After making several rimshot-accompanied jokes, Randall Keith Randall directs them to a nearby Bed and Breakfast run by old man Wise (David Carradine) and his obnoxious French chef (Diedrich Bader). But when they awake in the middle of the night to find that the chef has been murdered, and old man Wise is dead of an apparent heart attack, they can kiss getting to the church on time goodbye.The local sherriff (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), an overly suspicious idiot, confiscates their keys, forcing them to stay in Lovelock to await further questioning. While most of the group heads into the nearby town to kill some time at a barn dance, one of them stays behind at the Bed and Breakfast and discovers a mysterious Chinese Box. Despite R.K.R.'s sung exhortations to "Avoid it like a girl under Eighteen, that box is trouble if ya know what I mean!", he inadvertently opens it and unleases a cursed spirit that sets off a zombie plague. Anyone who has a sample of their hair, blood, or clothing placed into the box instantly turns into one of the undead.

This ends up with our group of heroes barricading themselves inside of the B&B, while their posessed friend and a slew of redneck zombies taunts them from the outside. And it's right about here that the film reaches its comedic zenith with a hilarious zombie ho-down dance number that had the crowd laughing hysterically for a solid five minutes, followed by an orgy of carnage that proudly references the earlier works of George Romero, Peter Jackson, and of course, Sam Raimi (When one character goes into a closet to retrieve a chainsaw, an Evil Dead poster is prominently displayed). As Sara, Ever Carradine (of the brilliant and prematurely defunct television series Lucky) proves to be the toughest and most resourceful member of the group, as she makes zip guns out of shotgun shells and metal pipes, and carves her way down a circular staircase full of undead Jeds.

Although a few of the jokes don't quite pay off, and the film ends rather abruptly without a tangible climax, Dead and Breakfast is a winner thanks to an exuberant sense of humor, a solid ensemble cast, and Selwyn's hilarious musical musings (be sure to stick around through the closing credits, as he recaps the entire film).

While the festival's opening film, UNDEAD, fell short of greatness by trying to combine high camp with a convoluted and overwrought story, DEAD AND BREAKFAST makes the smart play by keeping things simple and never taking itself seriously. Although there are plenty of graphic 12-gauge decapitations and other assorted bits of grue (including the zombie ringleader using the head of one of his victims as a hand puppet), DEAD AND BREAKFAST is in it purely for the laughs.

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originally posted: 03/28/04 06:08:01
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2004 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 San Francisco Horror Film Festival. For more in the 2004 San Francisco Horror Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Boston Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Boston Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/24/11 faccio stupid yet hilarious. gotta love the music interludes!! 4 stars
3/17/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess It was ok. 3 stars
2/07/07 AJ Muller Yes, this flick is nuts. And totally retarded. No, I don't know why I dug it so much. 4 stars
2/25/06 wormhole Hillarious line dancing zombies. Awesome. Randall Keith Randall rocks. 5 stars
11/19/05 Sam Justus real neat. 4 stars
9/25/05 K. Sear Fun and entertaining. 4 stars
7/20/05 mm A great film 5 stars
6/21/05 Jill Lachey totally hillarious! gross. silly. 5 stars
5/06/05 Me great 5 stars
10/29/04 Dana Johnson Best Movie Ever!! 5 stars
9/22/04 jill horowitz So so so so FUNNY! 5 stars
6/19/04 j.r. mitchell undeniably masterful in playing both sides of the horror/comedy fence. Laughed my ass off. 5 stars
6/02/04 ellis kicks ass!! 5 stars
3/27/04 Sheila Cassani Great movie 5 stars
3/23/04 ric saw at sxsw midnight screening. totally original twist on zombie genre 5 stars
3/20/04 movieguy a great film 5 stars
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  DVD: 06-Sep-2005



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