5.06.2008

The WTF? Worst Films Extravaganza Presents: All Soul's Day: Dia De Los Muertos (2005)

DIRECTED BY
Jeremy Kasten


STARRING 
Marisa Ramirez - Alicia Barena
Travis Wester - Joss Gilbert
Danny Trejo - Vargas Diaz
Laz Alonso - Tyler
Nichole Hiltz - Erica
Laura Harring - Martia
David Keith - Sheriff Ricky White

Year - 2005

Score - 0.5 Howls Outta 4


November 2nd - All Soul's Day a.k.a. The Day of the Dead. It's a day of remembrance for friends and loved ones who have passed away. It is believed that on this day, the dead will rise and return for a meal with their family. Using candles, they would be guided back home so we can honor them. In some countries, festivals are held - the most notable festivity is the mock funeral procession with a live person inside a coffin. I really wish this film was a living person, just so there's a chance of them suffocating in that coffin. Not even the dead would rise from the grave to watch this dreck.

PLOT
In a small Mexican town in 1898, Vargas Diaz (Danny Trejo) uncovers some secret treasure that contains the power of immortality. Wanting to keep this treasure to himself, Vargas lures the rest of the townspeople near a temple to celebrate All Soul's Day - only to blow them up at the entrance and trapping them inside forever. Due to this "selfless" sacrifice, Vargas becomes immortal.
About 50 years later, a family arrives at this very town on All Soul's Day. They soon are attacked by the dead, who feast on the family.

In the present day, a young couple arrive at the very same location. They accidentally crash into a mock funeral procession, only to find a young woman with her tongue cut off. They soon begin to learn the secrets of the town, as during The Day of the Dead, a human sacrifice must be presented to the local church in order to please the dead that died in 1898. They interfere with the plan, however, pissing off the dead. Calling two friends for help, the four of them are left to fight off a hoard of sad-looking zombies ready to feast, while uncovering the secrets behind what the zombies REALLY want.

REVIEW
ZZZZZZZZZZZZ...huh? Oh right...the review. Um...this film blows. Pure Sci-Fi Channel crap, but not very entertaining Sci-Fi Channel crap. While most Sci-Fi flicks don't take themselves too seriously, this one really does and it doesn't work. This film has an interesting take on the zombie genre that doesn't involve mutation or gas - which I greatly appreciated. The zombies had a mission [which we don't really understand until the end] instead of just killing for the sake of killing. They didn't want to feast. They wanted revenge. I'm cool with that. My problem is that the zombies hardly did anything. All they basically did was stumble around and beat each other off. Okay, they didn't do that last part, but at least it would have entertained me if they did. They weren't even scary looking. Their faces were done with make-up so bad that it makes Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video still look fresh. I understand the budget was small, but if you're gonna do a zombie flick, at least use most of your cash on making them LOOK like zombies.

And the characters...oh God, I wanted half of them dead. I'll begin with who I liked. Marisa Ramirez as Alicia was fine by me. She looked really good in panties [grrr] and could decently act too [which wasn't easy with this script]. She was tough when she needed to be and emoted well when it was necessary. Plus she got the pleasure of getting her face licked by Danny "You Fucked With The Wrong Mexican" Trejo. She did alright. Danny Trejo, of course, was his usual cool self in his limited appearance. He plays evil well because he enjoys himself doing it. I don't think I can say anything negative about the man. David Keith did his usual spiel. Can't complain about it. And Laz Alonzo was pretty cool as the token black guy, Tyler. He was a bit annoying at first but once the action kicked in, he handled himself well. He came across as very tough and very intelligent [he was Pre-Med - that probably gave the KKK a heart attack], becoming almost like the leader of the group. Too bad he was killed first. God, I love cliches in my horror.

As for the characters I wanted dead, only one of them got the duty. Let me start with the ones who unfortunately lived. Travis Wester [better known as the camera obsessed twin from EUROTRIP] annoyed the fuck out of me in this film as Joss. I like a smartass, but he was TOO MUCH of one, making me want to give him a wedgie right before giving his ass a swirlie in the toilet. All he did was talk, talk, talk, talk, whine, cry, run like a girl on high heels, talk, talk, hold a rifle, and talk some more. I was about to stop watching the film because of this guy. It was like he needed to do improv because he knew the script sucked, only to do it and make the film worse than it originally was. Thank God after he was bit by a zombie, he calmed down a few notches. But really, I wanted to use him as a punching bag. And he got to bang Alicia too. Why God why?

Laura Harring as Martia didn't annoy me as much as Wester, but I was tired of her ass by the end of the film. All she did was whisper, walk around the background trying to creep me out [didn't work, babe - try harder], and tell some ghost stories relating to the zombies. The last stuff was interesting, but I wish someone more interesting was telling them to the audience. She just bored me and I couldn't have cared if she died or wasn't in the film at all. Not a good performance at all.

And then we have Nichole Hiltz as blond bimbo Erica. She was the tough white chick who only cared about saving her own ass because she was scared of dying and losing her mandingo boyfriend, Tyler. She actually showed some brains when she first arrived and started doing flips and kicks like some Power Ranger on the zombies [she credits cheerleading for her superhuman abilities]. But then she gets herself killed after the zombies eat Tyler. She actually tried to drag him into her car. In the middle of a zombie feast! For that stupid act, Ms. Hiltz gets the coveted STUPID BITCH IN A HORROR FILM award. Too bad...she was a decent actor with a lousy part.

And the direction by Jeremy Kasten was annoying as well. He had decent pacing, but his camera work was...interesting. Scratches of film on flashbacks? Rotating camera when Martia is telling Alicia the story behind the zombies? Vargas turning his bed vertical to face Alicia towards the end [um, how did he possess these powers again]? No suspense at all? Hardly any character development? George A. Romero he ain't. Kasten tried to be fancy and a hotshot and the film paid for it. Nothing screamed original or "I went to film school and learned my craft" about this guy. Too bad the zombies didn't eat him. Definitely the kind of director you'd want making films for Sci-Fi.

THINGS I UNFORTUNATELY LEARNED WHILE WATCHING THIS CRAP
1) If you force someone to shoot themselves, don't stand right next to them when they do it. The blood will just splatter all over your clothes. I don't think even Oxy Clean can get rid of unwanted bloodstains.

2) The southern the Mexican border, the cheaper the gas will be. And the more powerful the Mexican water. Damn that Montezuma's Revenge!!

3) If you cut someone's tongue out, they won't be able to speak. Wouldn't it have been "freeky deeky" if this had been tried on Britney Spears? Or Paris Hilton? Or Nancy Grace? Or Donald Trump? Or...?

4) Latin women should not date white dudes. Latinas only bring out the insecurities out of gringos, making them more neurotic, annoyingly talkative, lazy, and horny than the average single gringo. That's why Bennifer I didn't work out.

5) In Mexico, you can see little boys in the corner of mirrors. That totally explains Michael Jackson and why he's obsessed with the man in the mirror.

6) Mexicans are annually forcing sacrifices on their own people for the Festival of the Dead. No wonder Immigration is so high in the U.S.

7) If your only chance for survival is the camera obsessed twin from EUROTRIP, being sacrificed by zombies might not be so bad after all.

8) Danny Trejo enjoys stealing the wives and daughters away from the stupid gringos. See also: MACHETE.

9) If you want a greater chance for survival against a group of zombies, have a cheerleader in your squad. They can do alot of inhuman flips and kick major ass before they have a horrible blonde moment. Remember - Save the cheerleader, Save the world...

10) American zombies go for the brain to feast. Mexican zombies go straight for a man's groin. Thank God I'm Puerto Rican. Puerto Ricans go for the tits and ass. Not sure what we go for when we're dead though.

THE FINAL HOWL
ALL SOUL'S DAY: DIA DE LOS MUERTOS sucks. I was bored out of my mind and the characters annoyed me to the point where I just wanted to stop watching. It's a not a total disaster [the film does look nice to look at], but if you're looking for a good zombie film, this isn't your bag. I rather watch MANSQUITO or ICE SPIDERS again over this. At least I could laugh at those films. This film wouldn't even wake the dead. Or Keith Richards. Maybe some of you will like it more than me. But I can't stand this film. Drive thru, please!

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