This is my first, and probably last, dalliance with Brain Damage Films. They’ve been plowing a lonely furrow since 2001, making and distributing zero-budget horror films for what must be the least discerning fanbase in cinema. According to the very few people on IMDB who’ve seen it, this is perhaps their best effort, so I dread to think what their worst one must be like – I nearly turned it off right at the beginning, as we got a truly embarrassing intro from a chap with spiky hair, a nose ring and a leather jacket with “Brain Damage Films” crudely written on it. He tells us the plot, anyway, such as it is, so you don’t need to worry about paying attention, something I presume the average Brain Damage fan has trouble with.
EDIT: I just discovered they also distributed Len Kabasinski’s early movies, and I love Len Kabasinski. But he seems to have moved on, thankfully.
Oh, before we get going, Brain Damage are the sort of people who’d make a 5 films (and counting) series called “Traces Of Death”, which is a bit like the infamous “Faces Of Death” only with real footage of people being seriously injured and killed – R Budd Dwyer’s infamous on-air suicide, a father getting eaten by lions at the zoo, and so on. Mercifully for humanity, it’s been banned in the UK, with the BBFC saying “the work presents no journalistic, educational or other justifying context for the images shown.” These are the people who not only think that sort of stuff is fun, but want to sell it to you!
I appreciate you, dear reader, probably aren’t as interested in finding the very bottom of the cinematic barrel as I am. You’d take one look at this in a second-hand VHS shop, or on some disreputable streaming service, and immediately move on. But this review will hopefully entertain, and on the off chance someone wonders whether they should buy or rent this, my words will be here to guide them.
Okay, so the plot is, a bunch of worthless people get killed in the woods. Done! Two meth dealers kill some guy who stiffed them on a drug deal, cut off his head and throw him down a hole in the middle of the woods. While they’re driving away, they happen upon their girlfriends, who are also off to the woods to find items for Art class (despite them all obviously being in their late 20s), and everyone argues. There’s also a Sheriff (played by the director), a third girl with the girlfriends, and a couple of developmentally disabled people who live out in the woods – Venus and her brother Harley. Harley gets in their way so they kill him too; no-one is remotely pleasant or interesting to watch, and it’s a relief when they start dying.
For a film which starts off with a hello to “gorehounds”, the first thing to notice is there’s really not much gore in it. The basic gist is, Harley comes back to life and starts killing the people who offed him, but due to the lack of budget and ability, we don’t see him til the last few minutes of the movie, or any other zombie, or really all that much gore. If I watched films purely to see the staples of exploitation cinema – blood, boobs and beast – I’d be sorely disappointed with this. As it is, I sort of hoped it might be halfway tolerable, and I was sorely disappointed there too.
ISCFC favourite Janet Keijser is one of the girlfriends, and provides the sole ray of light in the morass of dull ugliness. But even she struggles, presumably as she was probably being paid an absolute pittance and this was some garbage filmed in the woods by a bunch of emotionally stunted man-children who think people shouting at each other is dramatic.
Chances are a couple of people reading this have made better home movies than “Dead 7”. The non-Keijser cast are absolutely pitiful, the writing and directing (from Garrett Clancy, who mercifully hasn’t worked in either capacity since 2007) is almost non-existent – like he could have just improvised the entire thing with a hard-mounted camera and it would have been roughly the same. I don’t feel cheated of my time – I’d have only wasted it anyway – but I feel sad that anyone thought this was a good idea, to write, make or release. Who would possibly enjoy this?
Rating: thumbs down