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Horror - The Dead One

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The Dead One
Wilmer Valderama, Maria Conchita Alonso, Angie Cepada
Joel David Moore, Tony Plana
Directed by Brian Cox
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment 2007>br/>88 minutes

The Dead One is a very weird and very different kind of horror DVD and I am still not quite sure what to think of it. It is an Aztec legend zombie love story scary movie staring Wilmer Valderama of That 70s Show fame as the zombie and Angie Cepada as the love interest. Based on the comic book El Muerto by Javier Hernandez, The Dead One is interesting yet I found you had to work a bit too hard to understand it if you are not familiar with the lore it is based on. Still, it is different and original enough to be worth the effort, more so if you are a bigger fan of the genre than I am.

You have to be a little patient with The Dead One as the setup for the story features an old man who mumbles his lines and a young boy having a vision or dream sequence during which ominous voices say stuff you do not understand. Fortunately, it then moves on to the Diego (Valderama) and Maria (Cepada) story and establishes Diego gets weird around the South-American Day of the Dead. When Diego dies in a car crash, Maria feels something is wrong. She prays for him to come back to her hence making him a zombie of sorts. As part of some Aztec legend thing, Diego, who really seems to attract rainfall -some kind of sign of  the coming of something--, goes around either killing people or bringing them back to life while he tries to see what Maria is up to without her seeing him.

The Dead One is a weird, creepy, complicated horror movie and not your usual slice and dice epic. I found it mostly interesting and enjoyed the very odd touch of humor -such as when a cashier sees Diego and says, "I know who you are ... Nightmare Before Christmas."  I also appreciated how original the story is. Unfortunately, it is sometimes hard to understand the dialogue. This is especially true about the weird and very loud ghostly voice that seems to direct Diego.

Generally well told, The Dead One is a fairly low budget affair that shows little ill effects from that fact aside from the sound engineer on the project. I did not get the see the final version of The Dead One DVD but here's hoping the subtitles make up for the sound issue because I really think I would have enjoyed this somewhat scary, quite different movie a lot more if I had been able to listen to it comfortably.

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