I have to say that Dead Meat was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting much out of it but it was actually a decent movie for fans of the genre. That’s not to say it was without some substantial flaws, but it was watchable and entertaining.
In Dead Meat, a massive outbreak of a mutated strain of Mad Cow Disease causes cows to go nuts and attack other cows and farmers. And what of the people they attack? You guessed it, they become zombies. The story proper starts when a youngish couple accidentally hit a man on the road, killing him (or so they think). They load him into their car to get help, only to have him awake and bite the man. The girl goes for help, finds more zombies and thus starts an uninterrupted chase scene that comprises the rest of the movie.
In terms of look and feel, it reminded me a bit of Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (review here). That’s mostly to do with the rural setting and, to a lesser degree, the zombies. The camera work is a little odd, with some weird angles and shots utilized to no particular effect except perhaps “looking cool.” Some of those shots are borrowed from genre favorites such the Evil Dead series, others seem to be weird for the sake of being weird. There are some pretty serious lighting issues from time to time, especially once it gets dark out, and they occasionally obscured the action. The sound was better, apart from the fact that some of the actors accents are so thick (it’s an Irish film) I felt like I could have used subtitles
In terms of structure, the story reminded me a lot of The Grapes of Death (review here), which is also one long chase scene. It’s a much better film than Grapes, however, which is deadly dull. This is a little slow at moments, but does a much better job at keeping the story moving. The zombies look all right, as do the many cheap-ass but still cool effects. Shovel decapitations, high heels used as weapons and a zombie cow are just a few of the excellent highlights.
Although I did enjoy Dead Meat, I’d have a hard time recommending it to anyone who wasn’t a die-hard zombie fan. If that’s you, it’s definitely worth a look. It has some significant flaws, but it pulls itself together well enough to overcome them where it counts.
The short of the day was The Zombie Apocalypse and You, which came out of one of those 48 Hour Film competitions. It was impressive for a 48 hour film, if pretty silly and disposable. It’s in the form of a car dealership training video and you can watch it below, via convenient embed.