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Right, now onto the film in question – working on a much smaller budget than Shaun of the Dead, it seems unfair to compare the two. As a stand-alone offering, Stag Night of the Dead is an original idea, competently made and adequately acted. It isn’t side-splittingly funny, nor is it jaw-droppingly scary, but it is a mildly entertaining offering that kept my finger from hitting the eject button.
All hell breaks loose, when a group of hapless friends embark on a stag party game of Zomball; After a Zombie apocalypse is bought under control, new ways are being found to make cash from the unfortunate event. Zomball sounds like my kind of game; it’s basically a real life shoot ‘em up. Paintballing if you like, but with real zombies and high tech guns. As the Stag and his six mates (including a stripper who just happens to be tagging along) settle into their game, it soon becomes apparent that all is not well as it quickly turns unto a real-life battle of survival.
Stag Night of the Dead doesn’t over do the gore; it uses its budget wisely and is surprisingly effective. For a low budget offering, you could do much, much worse. However, I’m picky about my films and believe budget should never sway my opinion; a film should be worth making and entertaining to watch regardless of cost. After all, when I go into HMV they don’t say ‘here have it for a quid – it was low budget’ I pay to be entertained and I expect nothing less.
Neil Jones and his crew achieved something here, because although I wouldn’t recommend Stag Night of the Dead as a hilarious or frightening film, I wouldn’t deter anyone from watching it either. It isn’t a test of endurance, like many I’ve seen recently. The original ideas and fair cinematography actually made Stag Night of the Dead bearable. Not funny enough to be true comedy and no where near enough scare factor for horror fans, this flim slips between two genres, not comfortably fitting into either. So be warned, if you like Shaun of the Dead, you’re gonna have to lower your expectations before pressing play.
Stag Night of the Dead (2010). Director/Writer: Neil James. Cast: Sebastian Street, Sophie Lovell Anderson, Joe Rainbow
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