Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Cadaver Christmas

Confession time. I have a soft spot in my heart and a deep seeded love for holiday themed horror flicks. You're surprised, I can tell. Doesn't really even matter which holiday, from Kottentail on Easter, to Thankskilling on Thanksgiving, to Trick r Treat and Halloween on Halloween, these films are tradition for me, and call me sentimental, but tradition is something that's important to me. That being said, I'm always on the lookout for fun new things to add to my holiday traditions. So far, this year has been a bit of a disappointment (I'm looking at YOU Thankskilling 3), but I've still got a couple of other things coming up that I have hopes for, one of which I finally sat down and watched last night, A Cadaver Christmas.

It's late on Christmas Eve when a janitor wanders into a local bar, covered in blood. It seems as if the cadavers in the Science Building at the local University have inexplicably come back to life, and he narrowly escaped with his. Intent on saving the world by containing the zombies to the University, keeping them from escaping, the Janitor along with his companions, the bartender, a drunken moron, a cop who isn't really a cop, and a goat rapist, return to campus looking to discover who or what is responsible for the strange occurrence, and for a way to put an end to the outbreak for good.

If I'm being totally honest here, I bought this movie based entirely on the cover art. The glorious piece of artwork you see above is done by Tom "The Dude Designs" Hodge, whose work I hope you're more than familiar with if you're visiting the Batcave. The man is simply a genius, with talent on a level that most will never even come close to attaining. If you're among the uninitiated, please visit his blog over there under the "Bat-Bloggers" header. Suffice it to say, if he does the cover art for a movie, I immediately become interested in owning it, regardless of the film inside the dvd case. Case in point here with "A Cadaver Christmas", I could've opened up the case to find no disc inside, and I still would've been ok with the purchase. I dig Tom's art that much.

As for the movie itself, I hesitate to call it a disappointment, simply because I didn't really expect much from it. Truth be told, my main disappointment came from my hopes that it would be a fun new horror flick to watch around Xmas. It's a cliche riddled mess of a little indie flick, without a single original idea to be found. It takes parts from pays homage to everything from Re-Animator to Evil Dead to Day of the Dead. It's supposed to be a grindhouse style flick, so there's a "dated film" effect used throughout. I'm not sure exactly what you call it, it's where there are lines all over the screen, and the movie jumps at at times, the only problem is, the movie itself was clearly shot with a low end HD camera. Putting a bunch of lines and squiggly hair looking things on top of an HD picture doesn't make it look aged, it's just annoying.

My other main complaint with A Cadaver Christmas was with the never ending attempts at humor. I get that it was supposed to be a horror/comedy, unfortunately it just fails at both. The humor especially, I don't think I ever even cracked a smile. It didn't stop the movie from trying though, and I think that's the main problem, it tries too hard to be funny, and it just isn't. The performances are all over the place, the dialog is cheese layered on top of cheese, and I can't help but feel like unless you're 12, or under the influence of some sort of illegal substance of some sort, all you're going to end up doing is continuously rolling your eyes.

Still, all that negativity aside, I can't say that I hated A Cadaver Christmas. Sure, it was stupid, but I fully expected it to be. If there's any one positive that I can say about it, it's that there are some decent old school practical effects in the gore department, and those are always fun to watch. Sadly, that's where the praise ends. A Cadaver Christmas find itself as a part of my dvd collection based solely on the cover art by Tom Hodge, but falls way short of making it's way into my Xmas holiday rotation.


Chris_Gormley said...

I have never even heard of this.
You are right the cover is tremendous! I know you just destroyed the movie in your review but the 80s kid in me is saying, "That cover is soooo cool, the movie must be the craziest thing ever!" I'll have to check it out for myself and be disappointed.

Mister Bones said...

Actually I didn't intend to destroy it, it's not terrible by any means. I've seen WAAAAAY worse. It just missed the mark on the things I felt like it was really striving for, and even though it missed, it just kept trying.

Chris_Gormley said...


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