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Romeo & Juliet vs. the Living Dead

USA 2009
produced by
Ryan Denmark, Jason Witter for Third Star Films
directed by Ryan Denmark
starring Hannah Kauffmann, Jason Witter, Mark Chavez, Kate Schroeder, Reuben Finkelstein, Kevin R.Elder, Malcolm Madera, Shenoah Allen, George Bach, Elsa Menendez, Ross Kelly, Summer Olsson, Andy Brooks, Lucien Sims, Katy Houska, Kristin Hansen, Rusty Rutherford, Doug Montoya
written by Ryan Denmark, Jason Witter, based on the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, music by David Manning

Romeo and Juliet

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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30 years ago, Verona, Italy has been run over by the living dead. Now that's not half as bad as it may sound, because eventually, the zombies could be domesticated, and nowadays the living and the dead live in a sort of peaceful co-existence, even if the living don't trust their zombie neighbours too much.

Juliet (Hannah Kaufmann) is a daughter of the highly influential (and somewhat inbred) Capulet family, and everybody expects her to marry her cousin, the goodlooking but arrogant and not too bright jock Paris (Ross Kelly), and if not him, another cousin of hers, Mercutio (Mark Chavez), whom everyone considers gay, would be more than willing to be her plan B. But at a party, Juliet's eye is caught by a partycrasher, Romeo (Jason Witter), and fortunately, he seems to like her as well. There is just one problem: Romeo is a zombie ...

Besides Romeo being a zombie, he nad Juliet embark on a romantic affair, much to the dismay of everyone, from the Capulets and especially Paris to Rosaline (Summer Olsson), Romeo's zombie girlfriend. Secretly, Romeo and Juliet get married, but then he is accused of a murder and forced to flee the city at least for a few months.

Then though, Juliet's family forces her to get engaged to Paris, and to get out of this, Juliet decides to take some poison to put her in suspended animation to fake her own death. Romeo returns when he learns about Juliet's engagement, to find her seemingly dead, and after battling it out with Paris and his men and finishing them off for good, he drinks what's left from her drug which he considers poison to reunite with her in (final) death. Once he dies, she wakes up ...

But Juliet doesn't enjoy her second lease on life for long, because soon she runs into a machete and is killed - which is when Romeo wakes up from the dead in more ways than one - because the drug has not only put him in suspended animation, it also made him human again ...

Click here to open the Spoiler Pop-up!

 


Of course, this is a pretty silly adaptation of William Shakespeare's possibly most famous play, of course there is more gore in it than in all of Shakespeare's plays put together, and sure, certain jokes (though by far not all of them) border the moronic - and yet the film is more than a one-trick.pony, a cheap joke that loses its effect once the title is read out aloud three times. Basically, the film's writers Ryan Denmark and Jason Witter seem to have really read and understood their source material, and tired to do a little more than just make fun of it. This is evidenced in everything from the way the zombies are introduced into the story to the way Shakespeare's verses are juxtaposed with modern day dialogue in a completely nonchalant manner to the ending that might have absolutely nothing to do with Shakespeare's play as such - but makes sense still.

And if you add to this a competent cast that doesn't go over the top with the material, and a compact directorial effort that throws quite a few oddly fitting 1980's references into the mix, and you're left with a pretty entertaining movie.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD