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Review: Drew Cullingham’s Shed of the Dead

7DM Studios is gearing up to release their new movie, Shed of the Dead, this week. It’s hitting select theaters courtesy of Indican Pictures on May 17th 2019 before moving on to DVD on June 6th 2019. I was provided with a screener of Shed of the Dead, and I’m kind of on the fence about it, so I don’t think my real opinion will manifest until I see everything down in writing. Bear with me as we go on this journey together. Shed of the Dead is a horror-comedy of sorts written and directed by the UK’s Drew Cullingham. A communal garden sets the stage for a daunting nightmare when two friends, Trevor and Graham, face eviction from the property. Before the papers are even served, the zombie apocalypse starts and now they’re forced to abandon the property all together to save their lives and the lives of the ones they love. Spencer Brown, Ewen MacIntosh, Lauren Socha, Emily Booth, Brian Blessed, James Fisher, Frank Jakeman and Clare Lean star alongside Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th series), Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) and Michael Berryman (Weird Science). Produced by James Fisher and Nicholas David Lean, Shed of the Dead has a few cult stars and an awesome movie poster, but it’s far from the perfect film.

Sure, it features Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley and Michael Berryman, but none of them are in the movie for very long. In the time it takes you to go to the refrigerator to fetch another beer, you’ll miss both Moseley and Berryman’s performances. At least Kane has a longer bit, and I’m pleased to say he appears in a more wholesome role. We don’t get to see a softer side of him very often, so Shed of the Dead is worthy of a look-see if only to see Kane Hodder showing off another side of his acting abilities. The main cast did a great job too, and the two leads Spencer and Ewen had amazing chemistry on set, but no one really stood out to me as someone to champion or root for. I didn’t connect with anyone. With a plot, theme and mood that mirrors Shaun of the Dead and Army of the Dead, I was expecting a standout character/actor and more comedy, but that wasn’t even the biggest let down. For a movie that falls into the zombie genre, this one was light on the walking dead. You can’t have a zombie movie without hordes of zombies, and I wonder why the press release even bothers to mention a 28 Days Later influence. Not comparable here.

Shed of the Dead finds cinematography by Stephen Murphy, editing by Stephen Hedley and lead special effects by Mike Peel. While I can criticize the lack of a true star and an undefined genre, I can champion Shed of the Dead for its behind-the-scenes allure. I can tell, without a doubt, that everyone who worked on this movie brought their A-game to set and worked professionally and tirelessly to make it look like a million bucks. I loved the settings and cinematography the most. There’s subtle differences in the way America and England make their movies, and honestly I lean more in the direction of our cousins overseas. No matter what’s going on, movies in the UK always have this colorful, relaxing, homey look to them that I just adore. And while I mentioned that this one is a little low on zombies, I can’t help but to acknowledge that it was perfectly timed and Drew Cullingham delivered all the punches at just the right moment. Really, I feel like Shed of the Dead needed a co-writer to make the script more cohesive and to help bring it together more coherently. Then it would have been a raving hit.

For now, though, it’s nothing horror-comedy fans haven’t seen before. It’s high in production value and performance. It has horror cameos and a couple zombies. But it’s nothing explosive and it doesn’t contain anything that makes me say wow. I didn’t hate it, though. Final Score: 6 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)