Director – Dominic Wieneke (Zombie Outbreak, Chaos Reigns)
Starring – Lena Howe (The Ink and the Willow), Jason Yapp, and Jason Hegg
Release Date – 2014
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “Prepare to get shredded”
I’m obsessed with pairing films with other films. A lot of times I will find similar movies to watch together because it does create a fun experience to see new movies. A few days back I decided it was time to finally check out Todd Jason Cook’s classic 1995 S.O.V. horror film Death Metal Zombies. It was a fun but a very cheap metal horror film centered around a metal band that is using their influence to steal their fan’s souls.
I decided to follow that up with what I thought was another metal horror zombie flick Death Rot. I failed to read the synopsis but the title and artwork suggested that it was a metal horror flick centered around the undead. I was wrong but the film was still a fun watch that worked with the theme I had going.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows death metal pioneers Death Rot who break down on a rural road while on tour. The band members go different routes while trying to find help when their cell phones fail to work. Two of them venture down a dirt road in hopes of finding a home but cross paths with a homicidal local armed with a bow. The other visits an old drive in before he crosses path with another local. Those that are not slaughtered on the spot are taken back to their private slaughterhouse where they kill sinners and sell the meat to oversees buyers looking for exotic meat. The surviving members of the band thinks their time is up until one of them is able to escape the last minute and save the others before they are murdered.**Spoiler Alert**
Death Rot is one of those films that threw me for a loop. I popped it in expecting a zombie flick but was greeted with a story more up my alley. It did fall a little short but it was still a solid watch.
The acting in this one is not consistent. Some of the cast delivers better performances than others and I think experience has a lot to do with that. Just a very few number of the cast had other credits to their names on imdb but they all tried. They were very dedicated to their role and it showed.
The story for this one is one that I am very fond of but there was some things I would have loved to see done differently. I grew up in the poorest county in the U.S. and part of the bible belt. Low income always breeds religion. People have nothing to live for so they seek out a higher power. I’ve always found religion to be a scary thing especially when dealing with small rural communities who take things too literally. Kevin Smith’s Red State is one of the most horrifying films I have ever seen. The movie itself doesn’t pack that much fear but the story literally gives me chills. I’ve seen how far some of these extremist will go and Red State is not as ridiculous as it sounds.
Death Rot takes that religious family meets out of towners cliché one step further with the addition of the metal music. Growing up I would often wear Slayer, Pantera, Black Sabbath, and Type O Negative shirts which would often put me in the center of hate among the church goers. Even the teachers would join in on the bashing. I know how much religious flocks hate it so it made sense to throw it in the movie. My biggest gripe with the story is the religious figure in the family, the son I believe it was, is very underutilized. The character is very intense and blind by his religion which makes him very dangerous but they never follow through with it. Such a wasted opportunity.
Finally, the film has several death scenes. The budget does dictate the effects we get but the film is able to work with what they had very effectively. The blood and gore is a little underwhelming but this does not affect the overall film. Overall, Death Rot may not be the film the artwork paints but it is still a damn fun watch. Fans of religious horror and metal should really check this one out now on DVD from Wild Eye Releasing.