First and foremost, we have the phenomenal actor Justin Welborn, showcasing a range from the comically absurd to white hot tension with serious gravitas. You may remember Welborn from recent turns in JUSTIFIED on FX, or in the genre films SIREN and V/H/S VIRAL (two films that share DNA with today’s episode.)
Before we entered into the ought-teens, the cinematic cultural landscape was rich with two different breeds of films. Teen comedies and Zombie films. While many have attempted to traverse the borders of the venn diagram to a shared space between “zombie,” “teen film,” and “good;” and there have been a lot of misfires where they were missing at least one of the three trifecta. However, DANCE OF THE DEAD (2008) managed to hit a bullseye and really stick the landing. A hilarious film that serves to both parody and honor films ranging from THE BREAKFAST CLUB to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Justin Welborn and company are high school seniors dealing with a zombie outbreak on prom night.
Following that, Justin Welborn takes on hordes of a different kind. While the Nighthawks use the term “zombie film” when discussing THE SIGNAL (2007), a general “horde” label is probably more apropos. A strange signal is sent out through all of electronic media, causing anyone who witnesses it to slowly and violently lose grip on reality. In the midst of the general confusion and chaos, a long simmering love-triangle boils over in the wake of the sanity-shattering signal.
Audio clips from THE SIGNAL, 2007, courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
Audio clips from DANCE OF THE DEAD, 2008, courtesy of Lions Gate Entertainment
Shadows of the Night, written by D.L. Byron, performed by Pat Benetar, Courtesy of Chrysalis
Shadows of the Night, written by D.L. Byron, performed by Layton, as used in DANCE OF THE DEAD, Courtesy of Illicit Paradise; https://www.facebook.com/Paul-Layton-144076565612391/
Audio clips from PONTYPOOL, 2008, Courtesy of Maple Pictures
Audio clips from PUMP UP THE VOLUME, 1990, Courtesy New Line Cinema
Audio clips from SOUTHBOUND, 2015, Courtesy The Orchard
Long Hard Times To Come Written by Rench and T.O.N.E-z Performed by Gangstagrass featuring T.O.N.E-z, Courtesy Rench Audio