MIMESIS: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD...
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Lauren Mae Shafer
What's it about
A group of horror nerds at a horror convention get an exclusive invite to the coolest afterparty, which winds up being a real-life reenactment of Night of the Living Dead. Except people are dying for reeeeelz!
Is it good movie?
I'll give Mimesis this- the idea it has is cool and could definitely
spawn some neat sequels. The concept of taking hardcore fans and
literally plunking them down into a living version of the terrifying
film they worship is a really novel idea that had me interested.
Unfortunately, concept and execution are two different things and
Mimesis tends to trip up more than once along the way. Russell
(Taylor Piedmonte) is our main horror nerd who has managed to drag his
smartass, one-liner spouting pal Duane (Allen Maldonado) to the
convention, where they get invited to the crazy party by Judith (Lauren
Mae Shafer). After a bit of deliberation, they wake up in new clothes
seemingly right in the middle of a true version of Night of the Living
Sort of blurring the line between an actual horror movie and a
homage/parody, this was a smart idea to take Night of the Living Dead
as the source material, since everyone and their mother is able to do
what they like with it (film is considered public domain, dont'cha
know). It's really neat to see characters recreating the iconic roles
of Barbara, Johnny and Ben and the location looks pretty spot-on.
Mimicking Night of the Living Dead is a true double-edged sword though,
because that's a horror classic and it's tough to duplicate something
like that. Mimesis really just doesn't do it well for the most part
besides the basic setup. The practical effects are merely passable, but
the zombies themselves look wayyy off (sort of glossy in a way), and
the movie is loaded with awful loads of phony CGI blood. This stuff
should be used to enhance practical effects, not to replace them. There
are some cool kill moments, but when the phony blood flows it really
kills things dead, and there's a lot of that useless "slow motion into
fast motion" stuff that just doesn't add anything but a phony sense of
On top of that, the movie loses a lot of steam after failing to deliver
much meat once the premise has been unveiled. Our characters are
paper-thin stereotypes to begin with (though you could argue that when
it's time to step up after awhile, our main characters get tough), and
the villains really don't give any explanation as to what the hell is
going on. Our cast here is just really low-grade to begin with and
really don't have much to work with. There's a few lame, half-hearted
one-liners but they tend to mostly just gloss over things instead of
dwelling on any motives that are worth buying into. It just makes the
bad guys less scary and there's no real twists or turns in a concept
that could be loaded with interesting layers. The movie pretty much
goes in a straight line and barely stops to explain itself, which is
Ultimately, not even cameos from Sid Haig and Courtney Gaines can save
this slowly paced, poorly acted and goofily shot flick. It tries to be
interesting but fails on just too many levels. The whole thing just
feels like a somewhat unfinished school project.
Video / Audio
Video: 2.35:1 1080p widescreen presentation
and it comes off a bit soft, but has solid colors to show off all of
the films seams and lame effects.
Audio: a TrueHD 5.1 track that is well
balanced and delivers well enough.
All you get is an audio commentary
track with Director/Co-Writer Douglas Schulze and Co-Writer Joshua
Wagner, though it is pretty interesting and is certainly
thorough. They hit a lot of technical bases and cover just about
everything you'd like to know, though they do talk about deleted scenes
that are nowhere to be found on this disc.
I really thought the idea behind this one was cool, but the whole thing
just wasn't pulled off competently enough to be really worth it. The
whole thing feels like a big swing and a miss, and lacks any real
purpose or direction besides the obvious neat idea. For now, stick to
the original NOTLD. Maybe a sequel could improve on the idea and spawn
a neat little indie franchise. Also, what the hell were they thinking
with that title? How many people know what Mimesis means?