Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So I’m sitting in front of the LCD to watch the horror movie ‘Dead Mary’ and after a good forty minutes in I’m beginning to think "am I watching a horror flick or a convoluted episode of ‘The Real World’?" I mean there’s all kind of relationship angst issues, characters talking about their various infidelities, sexual hangups, discussions about one of their friends dating some girl who is way too young, though it looks to me like these guys are around twenty five and she’s probably twenty two. One couple is warring due to the whole ‘dating other people thing’ and on and on they droned on and on about their problems. When, I asked myself, is somebody going to go into bedroom and screw so they can die? When is a light going to blow so that somebody can go into the basement to change the fuse so that they can die? When is somebody going to hear a strange sound in the woods so that they can investigate so that they can die? Well eventually someone at least did THAT, but it just took like forever. And even though I’m complaining about it, it turns out that it was an effective device in at least making you care about the characters that are about to get slaughtered, and ended up making ‘Dead Mary’ at least a little bit better than your average run of the mill horror film.

Things start out real slow as we meet Kim (Dominique Swain) who is sitting in a car on a deserted country road that is either broke down or out of gas, for what seems to be an eternity, and looking quite perturbed about the situation. Turns out it’s the latter as her soon to be ex-boyfriend Matt (Jefferson Brown) is walking up to the car carrying a gas can. He fills up the car, they bicker about things for a few more minutes and then head on to the camp site to visit the rest of their angst ridden friends. We have sweet Amber (Reagan Pasternak) who is married to the scurrilous, cheating Dash (Michael Majeski), then there’s Baker (Stephen McCarthy) who is cradle robbing the tender Lilly (Maggie Castle) and finally there’s Eve (Marie Josee-Colburn) who was going to bring somebody’s husband, but that fell through so she’s flying solo. We’re also waiting for some other dude whose name I forget who never shows up, but let’s assume he’s dead already.

So as stated, they sit around the cabin for what again feels like an eternity, smoking weed, drinking, complaining about their relationships and their lives when Eve suggest that they play the game Dead Mary. This one of those stupid games that they play in movies that involves chanting up the evil persons name three times as some kind of joke, only to have the joke be on them as this evil entity turns out to be real. Candy Man… Candy Man…. Now from my vantage point, I’m thinking that we’re young adults here, not children. We’re high, drunk and we have our own rooms. Why not just retire and engage in nasty sex instead of playing silly children’s games – except of course for Eve who is all alone and suggested this stupid ass game in the first place. Hmmm…… They play the game, weird things happen, a character hears a funny sound in the woods, goes to check it out and sees one of our other characters who we’re not supposed to know who (I knew – you will too) and gets slaughtered up all to hell. The survivors find this dude dead, but amazingly he starts to come back life saying all kind wicked stuff… It would seem one of our denizens is Dead Mary with the power to create more Dead Mary’s… but which one is it…

‘Dead Mary’ plays out a little bit like John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ – not to compare this to that all-time classic, in my opinion at least, but the elements are their with everyone sitting around, suspicious that one of them, if not more, are infected with this Dead Mary disease. The Dead Mary disease is quite apocalyptic by the way because if one of our numerous Dead Mary’s makes it out of these woods, society as we know it pretty much comes to an end, if it hasn’t already. Even though listening to these characters whine on and on about their problems raked a nerve, it did serve the purpose of giving the characters texture and layers, supplying them with a reasonable way to behave in messed up situations even though the dude investigating the sound in the night in the woods was kinda stupid. It also served the purpose of making the characters deaths mean a little more than usual since we were forced to get to know them all so damn well.

All things considered, ‘Dead Mary’ wasn’t so bad. I mean it didn’t do much for the fright factor for me, but I don’t scare that easily though. It probably was a little light on gore for you gore hounds out there and despite the fine feminine flesh that was on display, there wasn’t a single wayward breast to be found either for you nudity freaks among us. Still, considering what we usually have to suffer through to get our horror fix on, I’ve seen way, way worst than ‘Dead Mary’.

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