Crash Analysis: DEAD MEAT (Ireland, 2004)

Zombies with Extra Cheese

A woman finds herself alone in Ireland when the Zombipocalypse comes calling…

I’ve indulged in nearly a half-dozen Irish horrors and all had merit – except this one.

When Helena (Marian Arajuo) enters the Irish countryside with her husband (David Ryan), they find themselves lost in the great field of green soon after zombie cows attacked farmers, which helped create zombies in human form. Of course they’re out for fresh flesh and… well, you know the menu.

Granted, writer/director Conor McMahon has enjoyed his fair share of bringing horror to large and small screens, but he delivers a hackneyed movie with enough cheesiness to make one lactose intolerant.

No new ground is broken here, and the story doesn’t take us anywhere we haven’t traveled before. Instead, we’re left with a mediocre tale where one cares little for the protagonist and a handful of locals trying to get “anywhere but here”.

The standout is Andrew Legge’s better than decent cinematography, though the lighting made many of the latter scenes difficult to discern. However, for every solid special effect the Art Department conjured, there were at least two that were sub-par.

If anything, McMahon seemed to try to string together a story based upon the special effects, and that does not a movie make. Regardless of how “wild” it might be to see a zombie get torn asunder, if the story has no punch or resounding value, and if the audience cares little for the characters, those kill scenes carry minor weight at best.

The sad part is that this movie could have been something strong and worthwhile, but when a story is based upon new and intriguing ways to kill and maim, instead of new ways to deliver theme, there really is little point. Thankfully, however, I did not have to sit through a viewing in a theatre, and I once again found the fast forward button quite a savior.

And one can only guess that other Irish horror writers and directors had seen the mediocre DEAD MEAT and thought they could do better – and they did. Therefore, check out the following if you prefer 3.5 star or better movies: ISOLATION (2005), THE ECLIPSE (2009), OUTCAST (2010) and WAKE WOOD (2011). Since DEAD MEAT, Irish horrors have excelled and let’s hope the trend continues.

1.5 out of 5 stars

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