Director – Junius Podrug
Starring – Emma Gruttadauria (Dead Souls), Joshua Koopman (R.I.P.D.), and Alexandra Creteau (Dead Giveaway: The Motion Picture)
Release Date – 2012
Rating – 2/5
Tagline – “Sometimes the dead have unfinished business”
Out of all the movies I have seen in my short life I can easily say the most influential film I have ever laid my eyes on is the 1968 George A. Romero classic Night of the Living Dead. I can easily say this is my favorite horror film and a movie I often watch at least once a month. This movie changed the way we see the undead and shaped the modern zombie. This movie completely changed a sub-genre of horror. A movie with that much impact is bound to become copied and/or parodied over time and it has.
I have seen multiple NotlD parody flicks like Night of the Living Jews and the short Night of the Living Bread that just so happens to be the name of a Bump in the Night episode. Even though I have seen so many films inspired or parodying this classic I still love it way more than the rest of them. The film really does hold up well after all these years and it continues to inspire.
That brings me to my next film from those fine folks over at Brain Damage and Midnight Releasing. With the list of screeners I was sent to review one stuck out. That film, Night of the Naked Dead, stuck out the most to me for obvious reasons. However, it was for that very reason that I was hesitant to review it. So I watched a few others on the list before gaining enough courage to actually watch it.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a romance novel author who recently acquired a bed and breakfast. She hired a sketchy handyman that she does not trust and forces him to sleep outside. However, on this night a crazy storm has hit causing the sky to change color. That night an attractive female wonders into the b & b completely nude. The author takes her in and clothes her but things go from weird to deadly. Soon, a police officer arrives covered in blood.
The handyman finds a way into the home just in time to discover that the nude woman and cop are actually ghosts who were able to walk the Earth again due to the storm. It is also revealed that the guy wearing the police uniform is not actually a cop but a serial killer pretending to be one. He owned the b & b back in the 50s and would pick up hitchhikers to take back to his home to kill. He picked up the nude ghost in the 50s and took her back to his home and killed her as she was hitchhiking to Hollywood. The two then has to fight for their lives against the murdering spirit until the storm breaks.**Spoiler Alert**
One would assume that I would hold high expectations for films that borrow their names from the original NotLD because I hold that film in such high regards. However, I do not and, in fact, I actually go into them with the mindset I will be disappointed. Very few films have surprised me. Night of the Living Jews, Tom Savini’s Night of the Living Dead, and Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead are all three films that perfectly pay tribute or parody the film while entertaining the viewer. Sadly, Night of the Naked Dead did not do that. In fact, the film borrows the title, for the most part, from the original NotLD when the film does not depict real zombies like one would assume. The film does give us the “dead” in one sense but not the way the title and the poster implies.
The acting in this one is surprisingly well done. The entire cast does a great job and that brings their characters to life. The story is something I have seen a few times before especially those films that revolve around Halloween. There is several ghost stories that revolve around Halloween where spirits are able to roam the Earth during that night only just like this film. The story actually had potential to be one spooky and atmospheric ghost story but fell short when it tried to be a moody drama.
Finally, those looking for amazing special effects and great on screen kills will be very disappointed. This film has neither with the exception of some blood smeared on someone’s clothes. Overall, this is a failed attempt to cash in on the success of a classic film by cleverly rewording the title. The film fails as a movie and to be entertaining. I do not recommend this one.