Sebastian Street, Sophie Lovell Anderson, Joe Rainbow WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Neil Jones MPAA RATING
Equiv. to "R" RUNNING TIME
88 Mins. DISTRIBUTED BY
"Stag Night of the Dead" Review
An indie zombie comedy out of the U.K., Stag Night of the Dead has found a DVD home on Left Films, home of all the coolest and craziest indie cinema coming out of the U.K. these days. Written and directed by Neil Jones, Stag Night of the Dead centers around Dean (Sebastian Street) and his rather motley group of friends who've gathered together the night before Dean's wedding for a good ole' fashioned game of Zomball.
Surely you can guess, right?
There are three basic rules of Zomball:
Watch out for the recharge station
Most importantly, NEVER humiliate the zombies.
Needless to say, our Bachelor Party with zombies isn't going to go as planned and before long every rule has been broken and our guys, plus a hired stripper, will be fighting for their lives and, well, not always winning.
Intentionally shot to resemble a 70's style zombie flick, Stag Night of the Dead is a hit-and-miss cinematic experience that occasionally kicks major ass and occasionally falls majorly flat. Sebastian Street is a terrific choice for the lead role, having enough of a sense of bravado to convincingly play the central character here while also having a sort of everyday normalcy about him. The supporting players, however, range from hilarious and wonderful to over the top awful.
While I'm not quite sure I agree with the decision to make an already low-budget indie look even lower budget, it's hard not to admire the look and feel that Jones is going for here. The film kicks off with a tremendous exploitation vibe from the opening credits moving forward and relentlessly commits to the concept. While Stag Night of the Dead isn't likely to win any new zombie flick fans, it's also likely a film that fans of the zombie genre will want to add to your collection.
The stripper (Sophie Lovell Anderson) is also one of the film's highlights, though she's stuck with a mostly stock character of the "heart of gold" variety. Joe Rainbow is frequently funny as the funny friend, while Mike Busson is mostly convincing as the man who not so secretly has his hand behind all the goings on.
The film did pick up a win as Best Film at Newport International Film Festival and has been, as noted, picked up for home video release by Left Films. For more information, visit the Stag Night of the Dead website.
The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.