The Burning Dead was indeed so terrible that I’m tempted to just make some bullet point statements that will hopefully dissuade anyone from seeing this hunk of crap. However, I’ll attempt to achieve that same result by offering a warning using a traditional prose format. I wish that merely stating that this movie bites the big one would be enough to prevent anyone reading this from sampling this turd filled wasteland of a movie, but since you don’t know me from Adam you might say to yourself, “Oh c’mon I’ve seen some pretty bad horror flicks in my day. All in all, they’re pretty funny and can be quite entertaining”. No, please take my word on this. You’re probably thinking about some sort of campy B-rate with drive-in movie style appeal. This movie contains no schlocky, campy fun at all with the exception of about 20 seconds of topless selfie action by Jenny Lin. An actress who has three other credits on IMDB; two as a stripper on Bosch and Dexter and one as a hooker on Californcation. This role as a “photographer” represents something of a departure then for Ms. Lin and for that I wish her all the luck in the world in her future roles. As for the rest of the cast I will devote absolutely no time to mentioning any of them or offering anything as to their roles in any other medium. Sometimes it’s better just to let sleeping dogs lie and I’m sure that we’ve all done things that we would prefer they be forgotten. The biggest take away from watching The Burning Dead for me was the idea that if you’re Danny Trejo you can literally show up in front of a campfire, dressed like a native American chieftain, whittle a stick for a minute or so and get paid. Yes, I know I wouldn’t mention anyone else ‘s name, but it’s hard to say that he was in the movie per se’. Technically, of course, he’s there saying some gibberish about evil being in the mountain and good going somewhere else, but his role is akin to the puppet who would appear at the beginning and end of Tales from the Crypt episodes. Had he an actual role in the meat of the movie then the movie itself probably would have been incrementally more palatable to watch than the rotten, stinking piece of crap that it was. Now you may have noticed that I’m using quite a bit of negative hyperbole to describe this movie so far. It’s just that life is short and if you’re like me you put a premium on your free time so please don’t waste your time. Tell your family how much you love them, do some community service, devote some time to a hobby, but please do not expend an hour and a half watching this. I took the hit so you don’t have to. Just to make sure that we’re all speaking the same language here, The Burning Dead makes SyFy Network movies look like Ingmar Bergman films. At its core The Burning Dead is a zombie genre film. As briefly as possible (because recalling anything from this movie pisses me off and I want to go on with my life already) members of the Donner party were actually zombies. Somehow they get sucked in to the soul of a volcano after a rather prolonged scene where two of the undead Donners feast on some entrails that kind of look like grungy tube socks wrapped in caul fat. It was right about here where the giant sucking noise that was the movie itself started. From there you fast forward to present day where some snappy dialogue about the merits of eating yogurt vs eating hamburgers transpires between a couple of unconvincingly portrayed scientists. The next few scenes cycle through quickly enough introducing all of the major characters who incidentally you’ll care very little about because their ensuing dialogues are so annoying that you hope each one is killed off very quickly. Only about fifteen minutes into this load of tosh and I was hoping it was over so I could turn it off and put on a classic Hammer film. Alas, there was still about an hour or so of running around willy-nilly evading CGI created lava and the zombies that were being regurgitated by the volcano. One could only surmise that the stage direction given to the zombie actors was, “try to look like Squidward when he does interpretive dance”. Which they do as well as some intermittent killing and more eating of caul fat encased tube socks. Finally, at some point they decided to end the movie because the conclusion is nothing more than the volcano abruptly erupting once again. This time instead of firing out fireball zombies, it’s zombie killing fireballs that target the hoard with pin point accuracy thus ending the onslaught. Even Grandpa is okay at the end, but you really couldn’t care less. It literally feels like someone with a stop watch had said, “Alright let’s wrap this thing up now. Zombies your all dead now, whomever wasn’t killed act like your happy it’s over. Cue Danny at the camp fire to say some nonsense and The End”. By no means will I give up on this blog- yet. Another stinker like this right away and all bets are off though. There are over 800 horror genre entries on the Amazon Prime movie tab so while I imagine that most will be eh I know, from having seen them in the past, many are actually quite good. I just hope, however that there aren’t too many more like The Burning Dead.
July 17, 2016