The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

ZRC Review: ‘Dead Weight’

Yet another film review from our recent trip to Chicago Fear Fest!

Summary: ‘Dead Weight’ strikes a new and devious blow for Anti-Zombie films – it manages to marginalize the Zombies from the, ahem, ‘Zombie Apocalypse’!

Rating: Shame!

Full review behind the cut.

I had actually received some advance warning about ‘Dead Weight’ before going to Chicago Fear Fest, but tried not to let it influence me too much – PR is a tricky game, and every movie should speak for itself.

Still, stories like this troubled me from the outset:

The film started off as a zombie movie but after outlining story ideas the filmmakers decided to base it on actual events in the natural world rather than fictional, flesh-eating zombies, Bartlett said.

“There’s a good chance you may not see the infected at all in this film, “ Pata said.

I mean seriously. Not only must you spread the (hateful, ignorant, misguided) belief that the Undead will bring about the more or less instant collapse of civilization, but you have to push them off-screen and out of the narrative too?

How is a Zombie actor supposed to get ahead when even Anti-Zombie movies won’t show Zombies?

Not only were they determined to push Zombies aside on screen, they wanted to erase their contributions and plight from the real world cast and crew as well:

During the shooting of the film, the cast and crew were not allowed to even say the word “zombie,”Pata said.

Unbelievable! As if not saying the word will make the Undead people no longer exist, eh, Mr. Pata?

Ahem. As I said, I tried to put this out of mind, but the movie.. well, it’s more or less precisely as described. Taking place equally in a grim, cold, post-apocalyptic late winter and the bright, sunny and warm pre-apocalypse, ‘Dead Weight’ is a story about one (Living, obviously, or they wouldn’t care) couple and their separation during a dramatic social upheaval.

And I do mean dramatic. There’s even a Romero-esque newscaster talking about how everyone is doomed and society brought it upon itself, the night civilization crumbles.

At any rate, the relatively happy couple is stranded apart when the world goes crazy (with unjustified fear of Zombies) as one half has recently moved to Wisconsin for work, while the protagonist stayed behind in Ohio. Coincidentally, they have roughly the same distance between them as the ZRC Compound and Horrorhound Columbus, only, of course, without cars and freeways it takes rather longer to cross said distance. So Charlie tells his girlfriend Samantha to make for a town in Wisconsin where they first met, and he’d join her later.

(For the record, I had some snarky, Wisconsiny comments about heading there in my head during the screening but I’m not sure it’s relevant, or even actually funny, to anyone outside the immediate area, so I’ll spare the larger ZRC audience)

Charlie travels along the way with various other desperate survivors, runs into some not-so-desperate ones, and throughout it becomes clear that the real ‘monster’ in this post-apocalypse isn’t the often-heard, rarely-seen ‘Infected’, but something, or perhaps someone, far closer to the audience. Fear? Amoral ambition? Survival at any cost? I wonder.

Of course by asking such questions while demonizing the Zombie population ‘Dead Weight’ rather spectacularly misses the point, we feel. If the goal is to examine and hopefully retain our humanity even in times of trouble, ostracizing others based on their vitality status is a very poor way to go about reaching said goal.

And yes, with a caveat, the preview press was right: Zombies are pushed right out of ‘Dead Weight’, almost entirely. It’s supposed to be spooky, but to those of us in the Zombie Rights Movement, it just comes across as one more snub.

For shame.

By pioneering yet another way to discriminate and foster distrust of the Undead, ‘Dead Weight’ more than earns its lowly Living Supremacist rating.

Shame!

And on a personal note? Wisconsin, a Zombie Friendly state, deserves better, and we Wisconsin residents need to set a better example. Double shame on the cast and crew.


About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.

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One Response to “ZRC Review: ‘Dead Weight’”

  1. trung tam tu van…

    [...]The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog » ZRC Review: ‘Dead Weight’[...]…

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