Dead Weight

Production Year: 2012
Release Date: 01/21/1014
Studio: Horizon Movies

Dead Weight is a film about one man's journey to locate his girlfriend in a post apocalyptic world.  Charlie(Joel Belknap) is a normal guy whom one morning receives a pretty frantic phone call from his girlfriend Samantha (Mary Lindberg).  After turning on the tube and learning viral outbreak they agree to meet up in Wausau.  Flash forward weeks later and the world has literally gone to hell.  Charlie has banded with a number of survivors and under Charlie's suggestion they begin to make the trek to the small Wisconsin town.

Along the way the group is faced with a number of perils ranging from rapey-rednecks to physical exhaustion.  It's clear that Charlie's grip on his humanity is slowly being tested and the only thing worse than the actual zombies is in fact the people you may come across on your journey.

Dead Weight is a modern zombie flick with an interesting twist...There's a big lack of the undead in this film.   Instead the movie focuses on the idea that an everyday Joe can become a cold blooded killer if the elements are just right.  It's a low budget look at humanity and how easily it can all crumble.  While there is some ghoulish action in the film's final moments of the film, fan's spoiled by the recent onslaught of Zombie action could be a bit let down.

I found myself enjoying Dead Weight, with so many DTV zombie films flooding the market it was nice to see a different take on the genre's ideals.  Don't get me wrong, this is ground that has been tread before, but there's a different perspective at play, rather than ruthless antagonists or kill-happy military, we're forced to get behind Charlie a seemingly ordinary dude that makes some very questionable decisions that he could eventually have to answer to.  As mentioned, the premise is nothing new- but something must be said about the overall execution.  It's very well done with a believable cast of characters.

Extended Scenes (13:32) - A handful of extended scenes (mostly characterization), there's 4 scenes total separated by chapters.

Featurette and outtakes (54:18) - A near hour long look at the making of Dead Weight, basic interviews with the cast and crew mixed with some behind the scenes video.  Also included is a nice little anecdote about an on set stuff animal named "Stangar the Mighty."

Theatrical trailer (01:03)

Commentary with directors Adam Bartlett and John Pata

Commentary with actors Joe Belknap and Mary Lindberg

While some may be turned off entirely by the complete lack of zombies in a zombie movie, I for one did not mind.  I felt the characters and situations were vibrant enough to entertain without having to use zombies as a crutch to carry a story.  With a market that's clearly over-saturated, it was nice to see a film take a more simplistic approach to the subgenre.


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