"NIGHT OF THE LIVING DORKS"
by Kevin Carr
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|| MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Tine Mewes as PHILIP
Manuel Cortez as WURST
Thomas Schmieder as KONRAD
Collien Fernandes as REBECCA
Hendrik Bormann as WOLF
Nadine Germann as USCHI
Sissi Perlinger as FRAU FLEISCHHACKER
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Directed by: Mathias Dinter
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If you’re into the hip lingo of the day for mainstream movies, you’ll know that the ever popular romantic comedy genre is often abbreviated as “rom com.” Well, “Night of the Living Dorks” isn’t a romantic comedy, but it is a comedy with zombies in it. Let’s call it a new emerging genre – the “zom com.”
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Zom coms have been around ever since the first zombie movies really started to make a splash in the late 60s and early 70s. In fact, “Return of the Living Dead,” which was a bizarrely unauthorized sequel to the George Romero original, is one of the quintessential zom coms of the 80s.
In this respect, a movie like “Night of the Living Dorks” seems more at home in a retro 80s horror tribute than as a newly released movie. However, because it comes from the German market, it gets a pass. International movies seldom tend to feel like they were made in the contemporary American market.
With a name like “Night of the Living Dorks,” you can’t expect anything in this film to be taken seriously – and it’s not. It feels like the teen sex comedies from the 80s with a zombie twist. This has been done before with films like “My Boyfriend’s Back,” but there is something new and different about it.
The story follows three dorks who accidentally are turned into zombies when some goth kids at school spray zombie ashes on them. This little freak of nature causes less distress than you might think to these kids, and they end up using their new zombie powers to get revenge on bullies at school, make out with hot teachers and cheerleaders, and assert themselves as the new powers of the school.
The movie is fun, and the jokes are predictably crass. But it’s what you should be expecting, so I found them funny. As a T&A comedy for the horror crowd, the film works. It’s funny sober, and I imagine it’s hilarious when you’re drunk.
Of course, the soundtrack is in German, so you either have to deal with reading subtitles that talk about testicles and crude sex acts, or you have to turn on the dubbed version. It’s not the greatest dubbing job ever. In fact, the dubbing is along the lines of a cheesy Godzilla flick, but as a lesser of two evils, it does its job.
The actors are funny, and Collien Fernandes, who plays the Goth-zombie love interest Rebecca, is mighty easy on the eyes (more so than her nemesis Uschi, played by Nadine Germann, who is supposed to be the real beauty).
The DVD comes with several deleted scenes, including an alternate ending (which I actually preferred to the less retro-80s one they went with for the film’s release). There’s also a behind-the-scenes featurette, interviews and the trailer in both German and English.
As the flagship zom com film for the new age (with an American remake heading down the pike soon), “Night of the Living Dorks” is to geek love as “Animal House” was to frat boys.
Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Widescreen (1.85:1), enhanced for 16x9 televisions. German and English language track. English language subtitles.