A Cop Comedy... Sort of...
Dead Again is a 2021 horror comedy film streaming on Tubi, composed by Steven Smith, a whole production team within himself. He serves as director, writer, producer, composer, cinematographer, and editor.
A Quaint Setting
Dead Again is set in a small rural town in the British Countryside where viewers are introduced to duo PC Brody and PS Cooper. At the onset, officer Cooper bears the task of showing Brody the ropes no matter how thin they are.
And So, It Begins
In the first few frames, Smith establishes a timeline. Political leaders such as Trump and Boris Johnson take center stage on public broadcast news. Viewers begin to feel a sense of connection and relevance which pulls them into the story. A hook is merely an enticement. To maintain attentiveness, so much more is needed.
A Few Steps More
Beyond the opening frame, a woman is on the run. She is hurt and in search of refuge, her visage screams desperation. The segment is short, then there is a breakaway. Our officers are having a lovely chat on a walk through the countryside. Suddenly, it is blatantly apparent Smith is working with a low budget.
Trying to Pull Magic Out of a Ball Cap
The lighting is a bit too bright and the acting is a little flat. As the story progresses, viewers are treated to some poor visual effects. Smith attempts to use color as a symbol and throughout the film the screen turns a crimson red. This color is a precursor to ominous things to come. However, the technique lacks finesse and takes away from the film in this case. An added fail is the poor make-up artistry. The dead don’t look dead, more like people who got too messy with their lunch.
What about the Characters
Our cops are not the only characters. We are also introduced to four others who make up the core of this film. Bob, played by Mark Wingert, Dan, Ellen, and Patrice. The six find themselves locked inside a building as terrifying events unfold. However, their fate isn’t exactly funny.
Comedy Sort Of
Dead Again has comedic value but not all is for purposeful intent. We have the reanimated with a higher than reasonable IQ that sometimes runs away from people. Then again, they organize yet there doesn’t always seem to be a motive. In fact, some of the reanimated stand aside as lunch walks right by. We see characters wait to be eaten. At one point, the cops lead the horde directly to the compound. And although there is an attempt to barricade the building, they don’t really barricade themselves in. The barricades are non-existent at points to allow their exit at a whim.
Scripts are Important
The acting falls flat, though that could be a byproduct of the script which is quite a work of art. The characters respond to the event with remarks and questions that defy logic. They say and do the most unimaginable things possible. Bob seems to wield a fair amount of intelligence. He has recognition of what the group may be dealing with.
A Moment of Intrigue
The older man knows something about horror movies and the rules per his speech. Yes, his speech. Bob gives an Othello-like performance when the group seeks understanding. His monologue is eerily reminiscent of the “I Am Sparta” speech from 300 (2006). Nevertheless, he attempts to rally the spirits, and he does a fair job.
This movie has quite a bit of reference to horror. Jaws (1975) and Alien (1979) are the predominant mentions. After a moment of discovery and rally, our elder cop gives a reference to Alien. Then, as brave as he can muster, the cop says, “I get to be Sigourney Weaver!” You can’t make this stuff up. We get another powerful reference at the end of the movie when both cops come against what seems insurmountable odds when the younger makes an iconic Jaws reference.
As always, the majority bites the dust. The appearance of a giant UFO-shaped ring set in a crimson sky (per the red tint) gives away most of what we need to know. Unfortunately, per the closing broadcast, most of the world is under siege.
This movie falls in the “I’m speechless” category. Assuredly, audiences will find unfathomability is wildly entertaining with Dead Again.
Dead Again (2021) Official Trailer