By: Kyle Reese
I really like movies dealing with the apocalypse, so whenever I get a chance to see one I try and make time to see it. All apocalyptic films are not the same. Some deal with the struggles of humanity, others are cannibalistic, and my favorite deal with zombies. The film DEAD WEIGHT is just that, a zombie apocalyptic film.
DEAD WEIGHT is more character driven than zombie driven. It is more in the WALKING DEAD vein if I had to compare it to something. The stories basic plot is a young man is trying to make it to his girlfriend at a location they discussed at the beginning of the outbreak. He then joins up with a small band of survivors and convinces them that there is safety at that location so he has some back up getting there. We then see humanity at play as the group bump into situation along the way.
The ending of the film was kind of fucked up in a way and it really makes you think what you would do if put into difficult situation where your life depended on a choice. We also see the demise of humanity and how quickly things change and yet some things still seem the same. Case in point, the group comes across some good old boys who still only have one thing on their mind, sex, and are willing to kill the survivors in order to get the lone female.
Since we are speaking of characters, I thought the main actor Joe Belknap (Charlie) did a good job playing a somewhat lazy, helpless young man that now has a goal to motivate him to survive. In the film Charlie is a young man who is contempt with staying home, reading comics, wearing his PJ's while his girlfriend, Samantha (Mary Lindberg), is out trying to better her life. When she takes a job in I believe Minnesota he seems okay with that, not willing to relocate for her. It isn’t until Samantha calls him to inform him of the outbreak that he makes a plan to meet in Wausau, WI that he finally has some ambition. Charlie’s only goal is to get to his girlfriend and we see this weak man make choices that affect the group and their very survival.
The supporting cast did a very good job helping the Charlie character develop and you can see that the acting ability is better than the normal indie film. You start to see their personalities come out as the film goes along and hope that we could see more. Well in a non-spoiler kind of way there is room there for a sequel.
The setting was something very believable as the group went from place to place looking for shelter and food. I couldn’t believe the number of destroyed homes they were able to find for the film and that really made the film feel like it was taking place during the apocalypse. Even though a lot of the film took place in the woods, the town scenes were very effective. Using the woods might seem like an easy location setting, but think about it if you were in a zombie apocalypse you wouldn’t want to bee roaming through the streets and cities.
Being a zombie apocalypse, there really aren’t that many zombies in the film. We see a few here and there, but again it was more of a character driven film. It might have been because of the zombie make up, because when we do see them the make up work isn’t that great, but it works well enough that you get the idea that they are zombies. They are also slow moving zombies so to me that is a plus.
The film was written & directed by Adam Bartlett & John Pata who did a really good job for their first feature film and I am really excited to see what they bring us in the future. Again I can see a whole trilogy being done with DEAD WEIGHT because you can focus on different characters in each film and they did leave it open to make another film. If you guys are reading this then you got my vote for a DEAD WEIGHT 2. Just make a Kickstarter campaign and get it funded.
I really enjoyed this film and hope it gets recognized as a very well made indie film, especially in an indie zombie genre that is all but running on empty. If you get a chance to watch this film do so, I know it is available for purchase on the films website, but where every you can get it, buy it you won’t be disappointed.
Official website: DeadWright
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