I found out about Living Death while doing my Where Are They Now article on Kristy Swanson. I was initially drawn in by the DVD cover (yes, I am a cover whore) because it looked like something from Saw or Hostel. Unrated films usually tend to be a little bit more fun when it comes to straight-to-DVD horror too. However, Living Death ended up being a PG rated Lifetime Movie with PG-13 horror thrown in towards the end. Read on for the review anyway.
In Living Death, Elizabeth (Kristy Swanson) and Victor (Greg Bryk) are in a loveless marriage, a marriage of convenience. They are both sexual sadists who enjoy sex mixed with pleasure. Medieval torture equipment is just one of Victor’s many additions – alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine being the others. Victor is such a lowlife that his wife and his lawyer/best friend Roman (Joshua Pearce) hatch a plan to poison him to death. The plan goes perfectly…except one little side effect. Sometimes, rarely, the poison doesn’t kill you – and the victim will wake up several days later as if from a coma. Victor is back, and not too pleased with Elizabeth and Roman.
Every single review I have read of Living Death was extremely negative. Almost every one of them contained some sort of jab at Kristy Swanson because she was a little heavier here than in previous roles. Oh, well! She is still absolutely gorgeous and as a diehard Buffy fan, she will always be one of my dream women. Plus, the weight gain wasn’t anything drastic – come on now, society. Rumor has it she filmed this role while pregnant, so cut her some slack. Even though the character of Elizabeth is a big bitch and deserves the bad things that happen to her, I still found myself rooting for her. Again, as a diehard Buffy fan, Kristy Swanson can do no wrong.
As a cohesive part of cinema, Living Death gets an A for effort, although I’ve never truly understood that saying. The acting is above average throughout. The script is pretty decent and even has some comedic elements, even though I’m not sure if all of them were meant to come off that way. Living Death reads like a Lifetime movie mixed with horror, but it never pretended to be anything else. Yes, the DVD cover is a little misleading, but if you watch one of the trailers – it’s clear this was supposed to be a revenge-thriller with some horrific elements. I watched it on Amazon Instant Video, but I’ll probably end up buying the DVD sooner or later. Kristy Swanson is a goddess and the movie is definitely the kind of horror film you could watch with your girlfriend. Check it out, guys.