Dead Meat

August 31st, 2011 by Perfesser Deviant

Dead Meat   dead meat poster 89x120 reviews horror Director: Conor McMahon
: Conor McMahon
Release Year
: 2004

100% cow-fed-cow for that double-cow, juiced-in goodness

Martin (David Ryan) and Helena (Marián Araújo) are driving along when they hit a guy and make him go squish, except that he then rises from the dead and chews a hole in Martin’s throat. The problem is that there’s a worse case of mad-cow disease spreading around than that which occurs in a sorority when all the synchronized sisters go down for maintenance at the same time; about as much blood too. Clearly this is a really bad problem that needs to be addressed quickly and carefully… oh, right, zombies….

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(Spoilers follow…)

Helena runs into Desmond (David Muyllaert), the local gravedigger, and they decide to head off to Desmond’s house for safety. The thing is, the route is dangerous and even now Desmond is armed with his trusty shovel, they have a lot of trouble getting there and are forced to kill several zombies by hook or by… well, high-heel. When they do get to Desmond’s house, they find it’s filled with zombies as well as a little girl, Lisa (Kathryn Toolan). Nearby is a jerkoff hurling coach Cathal Cheunt (Eoin Whelan) – whose name looks a little too much like his personality – and his woman Francie (Amy Redmond) who have a vehicle that the merry band uses to escape the local zombie epidemic. Sort of.

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The group trying to survive.

As is usual for this sort of film, we play a quick game of “who got bitten before we met them” before someone goes batshit and tries to bite the others. Like the original Night of the Living Dead, the designated bitey person is the little girl who goes from fine to lethal in a short period of time. Unlike the usual zombie film, the zombies give up trying to break into a car when they’re scared off by zombie cows. Zombie cows are not something one normally encounters and are a hell of a lot more fun than the lame killer sheep in Black Sheep (2006); obviously I’m talking about the New Zealand horror flick, not the much, much worse Farley / Spade vehicle of mediocrity. When one of the characters is dragged out of the car by a cadaverous cow, it’s a moment of such silly horror that it’s hard to know how to react – well, for normal people it might be, but I thought it was funny.

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When children's parties go wrong.

This is clearly a low-budget effort that tries to do something a little different and make a genuinely Irish horror film. The actors do a good job playing their roles as ordinary people put under extraordinary pressure with a feeling of honesty that one doesn’t see too often in any film, let alone in low-budget offerings. The zombie extras do a pretty good job and the makeup people do a lot with what was probably a fairly small budget to help characterize the zombies; the carload of zombie children with party hats, complete with a zombie clown, is pretty creative. I’m still thinking of New Zealand, but only because this film reminds me of Peter Jackson‘s Bad Taste (1987), from the government-sponsored funding to the way that creativity and talent overcome a lack of budget and experience. Unfortunately, it seems likely that writer / director Conor McMahon, hasn’t gotten the funding needed to make another feature.

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Soldier in fetishwear.

This film makes a very good use of violence as the living have to use anything at their disposal – hurling sticks, branches, shovels, and yes, high-heels – to attempt to survive, but, unlike American zombie films, there is a dearth of firearms. When the men with the guns do finally appear, it’s only to slay the ghouls and pack the few human survivors up in livestock trucks to be carted off to… somewhere. Like the films of George Romero that have come before – especially The Crazies (1973) – there is a strong anti-government undercurrent to this tale as the government doesn’t show up until it’s too late to save most of the cast, then acts like psychotic jerkoffs to boot.

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Hey, is this Irish or italian?

Filmed in Connacht, which is the west coast of Ireland and is much like the west coast of the United States with weather almost as pleasant as that in Alaska. The place is dreary and filled with narrow lanes filled with cheering people so very happy for reasons all their own. The best greetings are reserved for American boxers returning to their homelands to seek out one of the fiery Colleens that still roam the wide expanses of farmland left barren after everyone save a few lone maniacs fled the dangerously picturesque landscape. Don’t ever, under any circumstances, accept a dinner invitation from the locals, especially if they’re playing banjos.


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Trailer on YouTube.


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