All Souls Day: Dia de los Muertos
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Day of the Dead is a very strange day of celebration to me. So the idea is that on this special day, your dead loved ones will come back from the grave to hang out with you. That’s just what I want! It’s bad enough when Uncle Jeff played pull my finger alive, but now add a decomposed cadaver doing the same lame jokes. Does the joke become funnier when the finger actually comes off? I doubt it.
In this movie, the Day of the Dead is not such a joyous occasion. ALL SOUL’S DAY starts out sometime in the 1800s, or so. Danny Trejo plays Vargas Diaz. Diaz is the stereotypical western town bad guy. After finding an Aztec treasure that is said to grant immortality, Diaz kills all the town’s folk in an explosion. We flash forward to the 50s where a family stops for the night in the very same town that the horrific killing of the villagers took place. After a nice cameo from Jeffrey Combs, and some boobage we flash forward to the present. Alicia (Marisa Ramirez) and Joss (Travis Wester) are heading down to Mexico to visit Alicia’s parents. This is Joss’ first time meeting them, so of course he is a little nervous. They head into a town, and almost run over a group of people carrying a casket. Out pops a naked woman with her tongue cut off, from the casket. Hot damn! They run to get the sheriff. After the sheriff carries the woman away, Joss realizes that they are not going anywhere. The car is wrecked. They head to the local adobe hotel. There they call their friends from the O.C to come down, so they can catch a ride out of the weird town, and also get their “drink on”. In come their friends Tyler (Laz Alonso) and the Matrix-y (watch the movie) cheerleader girlfriend Erica (Nichole Hiltz). They have only a small bit of fun, until all hell breaks loose. Turns out a sacrifice must be made before All Soul’s Day takes place, because the dead don’t come back for hugs and kisses. These dead folk come back for revenge on their death. After the sacrifice is disrupted, it is too late to keep the dead at bay. Soon it becomes the group against the dead in a fight to survive, and solve the mystery of how stop them.
Blah, blah, blah. While not new at all, the idea of placing it in Mexico for Day of the Dead, actually gives the movie a different flavor than your normal zombie film. Spicy maybe? Sure we’ve seen the “I’m going to make a run to the car” about a thousand times, but what makes the movie are the characters. The banter between the four main characters actually makes each one likable. The movie is not a comedy, but each actor working off each other gives it a comfortable feel that seems to draw you in. I was very impressed with everyone’s acting. Well everyone except two.
The first is Danny Trejo. While I’m scared as hell to even mention this, his acting was not great at all. He has the grimace, and the look, but his delivery was just off. The second was the gorgeous inns keeper Laura Harring. Great googely-moogely is she a site to behold. Unfortunately however her acting in this movie left me cold. There is a way to be mysterious, and have great delivery, but here it was boring. P.S, I loved ya on THE SHIELD!
The makeup effects were impressive, and I liked how the zombies blended into the night, and were just there. The group of zombies stayed a group, and nothing jumped out. The bloodshed was subtle enough to hide any low budget issues. Speaking of low budget, the movie had a very impressive look to it. Colors pop when needed, and the dreary locale worked for the story. My only other complaint was with the cheerleader Erica. What tumbling classes did she take to be able to flip around like that? I mean hell, she was more like a Shaolin monk. Again, watch the movie and you will understand the question.
Overall this was a fun romp that had a small twist to the story, good special effects, some action, and likable characters. While the film faltered a bit at the very end, the pacing was fast and enjoyable. This one won’t win any awards, but was a great popcorn movie. Well, popcorn or taquitos. Whatever your liking. Check this one out for some mindless fun. 3 Cans!
Added: Friday, January 27, 2006
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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