DEAD EYES OPEN
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
and George Romero
What's it about
A German zombie movie about a group of folks who take a van into the woods. Think anything bad will happen in those woods?
Is it good movie?
Ah, Troma. What can I say about you? Youíre the last indie studio that still feels and acts as indie. Your movies, for better or worse, are consistently strange, gory, immature, and always comedic. Their releases always remain a strange, unique phenomenon that Iíve never fully wrapped my head around. Most of their releases just arenít for me. I need quality production so a movie feels like a movie.
Unfortunately, Troma and budgets donít match, so their product usually feels and looks equally cheap. And while Dead Eyes Open fits all the attributes of a Troma release, it does have one factor thatís different Ė itís German. Thatís not necessary a bad thing, but I have to admit if Iím going to watch a foreign film and read, it better be a damn charming and entertaining thing. Which Dead Eyes Open isnít. Frankly, this isnít even close. The movie looks more like a high school class project than a studio release. The one element about a studio release is that a viewer can count on production value. It must look semi-professional even with a budget of zero. The filmmakers even added touches of graininess to ensure a throwback vibe to make the movie look even cheaper. But shouldnít it be a throwback to a good style of filmmaking? Not to cheap forgettable films? I think so. But maybe I'm wrong. (Doubt it).
Video / Audio
Video: A very grainy full screen presentation.
Audio: Presented with the power of Dolby Digital Surround.
Behind-the-Scenes Featurette: Roughly 20 minutes of looks at the making of the movie. Thankfully, this was shot in the same grainy style!
Bunches of Troma Extras: All kinds of stuff here include a PSA, vintage Troma stupidness, and T&A for no reason.
So Dead Eyes Open is a zombie picture. Itís got the gore and the dead people. Itís got the camp and the 70s film style. But it lacked the bite (pun) that the classics have. This felt like all bad zombie movies feels. Dull and unoriginal.