Directed by David P. Barton
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
I always hope to like the movie I’m watching, but I must admit that I started Dead & Rotting with a real sinking feeling. The title seemed prophetic of the film’s quality, and its ugly cover art (see above) didn’t reassure me any. So when I began the film and it wasn’t an immediate train wreck, my spirits lifted a bit. A few minutes in, I actually thought to myself, “This is actually pretty good!” By the end of the film, I had been converted completely, and I can now declare Dead & Rotting to actually be one of the best Full Moon films of the early 2000s. Maybe now I’ll have learned my lesson not to judge a movie by its title/cover, but with Full Moon movies like Magic in the Mirror: Fowl Play still on deck for review, I’m unsure if it’ll stick.
Three prankster buddies are out for a night ride in their truck, daring each other to check out a scary house in the woods rumored to be the house of a witch. Before they can get too close, though, they meet a weird, dirty man who runs them off the property by attacking the truck with some kind of animal on a stick. One thing leads to another and the witch sets out to curse the men, asking them, “Do you know what it feels like to be dead and rotting?” It’s a fairly simple, straightforward movie and it’s also short, so I’ll leave it at that. You get the gist.
This is an early 2000s low-budget movie from Full Moon, though, so Dead & Rotting is pretty light on the gore. It makes up for this with a few moments that really get under your skin, as well as some nice sound design and clever directorial instincts. Dead & Rotting is shot beautifully, with well-framed images that look far better than just about every other shot-on-video, low-budget horror film I’ve seen from the era. It’s genuinely funny, too. The DVD extras informed me that director David P. Barton was a childhood friend of J.R. Bookwalter, and the pair made many films together. Barton went on to a successful FX career, but unfortunately this is his only feature credit as a director.
I really enjoyed Dead & Rotting, and I would think that most people interested in low-budget films would too. I wish I had more to say, but whatever… just watch it!
Next time I get around to a Full Moon movie I’ll be watching the sequel to Dragonworld that is technically not a Full Moon movie: Dragonworld: The Legend Continues! See ya then!