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MIMESIS: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD...
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Douglas Schulze

Starring:
Allen Maldonado
Sid Haig
Lauren Mae Shafer
Courtney Gains
Taylor Piedmonte

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
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 Dead.

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 style.

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 disappointing.

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.
The Extras
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.
Last Call
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?
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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