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Art of the Dead

USA 2019
produced by
Michael Mahal, Sonny Mahal, Nicholas George (executive), Shawnn Morris Slaughter (executive), Layla Najafe (executive), Peter Angelopoulos (executive), Sergio Rizzuto (executive), Don Porter (executive), J. Spencer (executive), Peter A. Lees (executive), Stan Divranos (executive), Audrey Genevieve Holland (executive), Tara Reid (executive), Richard Grieco (executive), Mark Pereira (executive), Hans Hernke (executive), Shinji Nishimura (executive), Guillermo Martinez (executive), Desire Bradford (executive), Michael S. Click (executive), Esther Goodstein (executive), Nick Ford (executive), Angelo DiNallo (executive), Rome Romanne (executive), Nick Langsford (executive), Husain Hanif Roussel (executive), Shawn Mirza (executive), Neel Esh Patel (executive), Hadley Hodgkin (executive), John Meacham (executive), Robert B. Oliver (executive), Tony DeGuide (executive), Doug Maulden-Locke (executive) for Mahal Empire, SlaughterCore Presentations
directed by Rolfe Kanefsky
starring Jessica Morris, Lukas Hassel, Alex Rinehart, Zachary Chyz, Cynthia Aileen Strahan, Tara Reid, Richard Grieco, Robert Donavan, Danny Tesla, Tania Fox, Aaron Groben, Sheila Krause, Jonah Gilkerson, Sarah French, Lainee Rhodes, Nick Ford, Dee Cutrone, Ally Holmes, Nicholas Jackman, Audrey Genevieve Holland, Sergio Rizzuto, Hans Hernke, Mark Justice, Ria Rose, Mindy Gilkerson, Justin P. Warren, Stan Divranos, Margo Quinn, Brenna Daly, John Molinaro, Shelby McCullough, Labrandon Shead, Nicholas George, Peter A. Lees, Christina Gregory, Paul Gunn, Layla Najafe, Andrew Brown, Shawnn Morris Slaughter, Rome Romanne, Robert Gobelet, Leonard Steinman, Carrie Gregory, Stu Chaiken, Matt Christy, Kenny Robinson, Jessica Warning, Enna Morgan, Ben Stobber, Bryan Moore
story by Sonny Mahal, Michael Mahal, screenplay by Rolfe Kanefsky, music by Christopher Farrell, songs by Christopher Farrell, Victoria De Mare, Delial, creature and special makeup effects by Vincent J. Guastini, paintings by Clint Carney

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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On a mere whim, rich couple Gina (Jessica Morris) and Dylan Wilson (Lukas Hassel) buy a series of seven paintings of a virtually unknown painter from the late 19th century for half a million Dollars, and of course, when a one-eyed priest, Father Mendale (Robert Donavan) urges them to destroy the paintings, they don't take him seriously, but hang up the paintings all over their mansion-like house. That evening, their art student son Louis (Zachary Chyz) brings home his girlfriend Kim (Alex Rinehart) to introduce her to the family, and the scene couldn't be happier. Only the next day, Kim notices something has changed with the whole family, and she has some hunch it has to do with the paintings and wants to inquire with the art dealer who auctioned them off (Tara Reid), but instead runs into Father Mendale, who warns her about the paintings, as they represent the 7 deadly sins, and it seems that everyone who has owned them has died a violent dead and more often than not killed his loved ones beforehands. And the good Father figures that's what happens with the Wilsons as well - but Kim just thinks he's weird. But of course, father Mendale is totally right, as Gina, who has the painting representing lust in her bedroom, turns into an ever-horny cougar, Dylan into a restless money grabber under the influence of the greed-painting, the usually mousey teenage daughter Donna (Cynthia Aileen Strahan) turns into a vamp who won't stop even at murder to get the boy of her dreams (Aaron Groben) with her pic showing envy, the two pre-teen kids (Sheila Krause, Jonah Gilkerson) turn into snails as their picture shows sloth. But Louis has it the worst: His picture shows wrath, and he has brought a prostitute (Sarah French) home to brutally murder her for his art. It's now up to Kim to stop the madness - but she hasn't got the first idea how and soon gets sucked into the thick of it ...

Richard Grieco plays a former owner of the paintings who slaughtered his family in a particularly gruesome fashion.

 

Art of the Dead is a fun movie for sure - now of course, other films have been made about the Seven Deadly Sins before (most prominently perhaps Seven), and the topic has almost become horror staple, but this film finds a very entertaining way of tackling its subject: Now without being a comedy, the film doesn't take itself too seriously and works with hyperboles and the like, throws creatures into the mix, and some gore to keep the horror crowd happy - and the whole thing thus (also of course thanks to its slick direction) has the look and feel of a comicbook come to life, maybe also a bit like B horror movies from the 1980s, when it was still ok to entertain the audience between shocks - and entertaining is what this film does very well, there's not a dull minute from beginning to end. And of course, a solid cast seemingly being in on the joke helps to achieve this goal as well. A truly enjoyable genre ride for sure.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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Out now from
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