Dead and Breakfast (2004)
Director: Matthew Leutwyler
Jeremy Sisto /Christian
Erik Palladino /David
Gina Philips /Melody
Ever Carradine /Sara
Six friends are driving across Texas to hit a wedding, but when they stop at a bed and breakfast located in some butt-plug-nowhere town for some R&R, thing get screwy. Can you enunciate POSSESSION? Can you enunciate ZOMBIES? Can you enunciate MUCHO GORE? Can you enunciate MUSICAL NUMBER? Was that a typo? Nope! MUSICAL NUMBER!!!! SADDLE UP BUCKAROOS!
It's like a bad horror movie...only worse.
I’ll be damn “Bobby Joe”! I knew of “Dead and Breakfast” by name, but didn’t know diddly squat about what is was all about. Well, color me purple with giggles and snap my pet’s neck in joy, because nothing (not even back-flipping midgets with Down syndrome) could’ve prepared me for the concoction that was home-run my way.
“Dead and Breakfast” obviously came straight from the bloody heart of die-hard genre fans (writer-director Matthew Leutwyler and “story credit” Billy Burke). How else would you explain the horror references, the clever spins on familiar genre situations and the ludicrous amount of graphic “Peter Jackson”-like gore? Yeah, you heard me “Peter Jackson-like gore!” Gore hounds, stop reading this toilet-paper review and go hunt this film down…right now! This ghastly bad boy was beyond messy! You still here? Ok, I’ll continue. Furthermore, this movie was evidently made by folks that have a sly sense of humor (the dialogue was so bang-on), who like to take chances and that even within the familiarity of its whole, wanted to offer up a shovel full of uniqueness. Some of the comedic bits on display had me breakin' on the floor like "Shabba-Doo"! KICK IT!
I mean, how many fear bon-bons have you seen that had a country singer (Zach Selwyn) interlude between scenes to comment on the events going down via slick twang songs? What about Zombies who take a breather from their attack to launch into a “Thriller-esque” dance routine? You see that often? And how many horror flicks have you seen that used grisly drawings as a way to express what’s happening or to act as scene transitions? For me, all these goodies were freaking entertaining and I was "hands down" totally wooed by the freshness of it all. Another main strength was the stellar cast in the house, who themselves interpreted a slew of highly memorable characters that kept warming up my Pop-Tarts to toasty. I got very attached to most of the peeps here and I would’ve followed them to “Blockbuster” (i.e. hell) and back. NOTE: I want Sara “mix of Ash and Ripley” (Carradine) to marry me and I want Melody (Phillips) to join us for the honeymoon...there’s a burger I want to shove down her vegan throat.
On the sour side of the Karo syrup, the film did miss my mark a few times humor-wise (especially when the kooky music would kick in to force-feed a humorous bit), but that’s subjective. What didn’t make me laugh might crack you up like a stepped on “Ritz” cracker. My biggest peeve though was that the picture fell short on plot. Sure, there was a story present, but I can’t say that it did much for me one way or another. I saw it more as a slim excuse to put out wacky and brutal stuff than stimuli for the narrative. I actually found myself a tad impatient at times. When the film was taking the time to explore its ho-hum intrigue (graveyard scene), all I wanted was to get back to the slaughter. Lastly, I felt it all capped off fairly abruptly. It’s hard to verbalize, but the film just ended...boom, done, that on that. I was yearning for more as the end credits rolled.
But on the whole, "Dead and Breakfast" was a heavy metal meal of Ketchup, severed limbs, slick tunes, wild imagination and hearty chuckles. Been on a steady diet of studio crap of late? Want to lose a few inches of “boredom” around your grey matter waistline? Order a “Dead and Breakfast” and you’ll be one content mofo. LEG WRESTLE THIS!
ARROW SINGS: “It’s a bloody world after all, it’s a bloody world after all, it’s a bloody world after all, it’s a BLOOOOO –DYYYYYY…WORLD! We’re treated to a knife in the throat, an impaling, a spike in the head, gunshots in the head, a stick in the eye, cymbal in the head, mucho beheadings, lots of blow off heads, blown up faces, blown off hand, half a face blown off, a hammer in the head, a chainsaw in the neck (now THAT was something!), a drill in the head, chainsawed limbs, an arrow in the back (why not “in the head”?), vicious beatings and mucho stabbings. YOWZER! IT’S FUCKING CHRISTMAS OVER HERE!
Scream King Jeremy Sisto (Christian) had to play “kool” and he did that Aces! What a likeable guy! Erik Palladino (David) was also endearing as the booze-guzzling hombre. Loved him! Gina Philips (Melody) was sweet as candy as the vegan “good” girl. Ever Carradine (Sara) kicked so much ass as the chainsaw wielding, Zombie-destroying machine that she was. Oz Perkins (Johnny) had the necessary oddball look and hit the right tone for his peculiar part. David Carradine (Mr. Wise) showed up long enough to give us that arresting “Carradine stare”. Miranda Bailey (Records Keeper) and Diedrich Bater (Henry) were simply hilarious in their roles! Brent David Fraser (The Drifter) deadpanned his way through the part with winning results. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Sheriff) nailed his yuk-yuk delivery. Bianca Lawson (Kate) was effective in what she had to do while Portia De Rossi (Kelly) owned in her cameo! That Bride-Bridesmaid phone convo killed me!
T & A
Wait a minute, am I on Candid Camera, am I being filmed in my room…RIGHT NOW? NO? Then why wasn’t there any female flesh peddling in this flick? COME ON! One tit shot, that’s all we needed…just one! Implants, no implants, no matter. Not having boobies in a movie of this ilk was akin to having a Big Mac without the Coke or the Ex-Lax to flush it down. Bummer...
Director Leutwyler was on top of things, offering up inventive and stylish shots, some potent atmosphere and a slick use of split screen during a crowd pleasing bar massacre. I dug his vibe!
Talk about variety! We get some rock, some country, some rap country (fun shite, Zach Selwyn rocks!), some Sinatra like jive, some heavy stuff and an electronic score by Brian Vander Ark that got the job done with pizzazz. NICE!
“Dead and Breakfast” reminded me of a ramble I always vomit out via this site or when I get real drunk and won’t shut the F up, much to the dismay of my friends: “We need more horror fans to become horror filmmakers...that’s the only way true horror will stay alive!” This riot act sported Grade "A" Red Chunky Gravy, a genre-friendly cast, a creative/daring attitude, zany characters and an overall “fuck it, let's have fun with this” stance about its shenanigans. Sure, there wasn’t much of a story behind the madness, but trust me when I say this: the novel approach and the outlandish red-wet mayhem more than made up for that. Order this meal with a side order of “let’s have a blast!” and thank me at my funeral!
This film was shot in California, USA.
Diedrich Bater (Henry) is best known for his role on “The Drew Carey Show”.
Ever Carradine is the daughter of David Carradine’s half brother John Carradine.
Bianca Lawson (Kate) is best known for her roles on "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" and her stint on “Bones”.
Jeremy Sisto is a great man and has rocked since his genre debut in "Hideway".