Dead in the Water DVD Review
Written by TGM
DVD released by Indican Pictures
Directed by Marc Buhmann
Written by Marc Buhmann and David Moore
2006, Region 1 (NTSC), 78 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on September 25th, 2007
Alissa Bailey as Tiffany
Christie Burgess as Rachel
Megan Renee Burgess as Jennica
Jacob Paque as Paul
Mike Parrish as Joseph
Bill Zasadil as Mike
Good or bad, the zombie genre is a staple of independent low-budget horror. If you've got the measliest shell of an idea, an acquaintance who can paste on a couple of gooey prosthetics, and a few gallons of fake blood then you've got yourself the makings of a stereotypical indie-zombie flick. This economy of production does however come at a steep price not measured in dollars and cents. Since the concept has been pretty much tapped dry in regards to bringing something novel and worthwhile to the genre, it now takes something very special and unique (ie: Shaun of the Dead) for anybody to get excited at all about watching or reviewing a zombie film. Unfortunately this does not happen here.
Dead in the Water is the tale of two sisters who schlep their moronic boyfriends up to a secluded cabin for a little rest and relaxation. The intent is to meet up with their parents for some wholesome family fun on a lake where an evil corporation is evidently dumping noxious pollutants into the water. Did I fail to mention that it's also the very same lake where dozens of people were killed in an unrelated horrible accident years before? I am reminded of those old Reese's Peanut butter cup commercials: "You put your rotting corpses in my radioactive industrial pollutants! No, you put your industrial pollutants on my rotting corpses! Two great tastes that taste great together!" So what could possibly go wrong? Therefore, it should come as no surprise that when they finally arrive the parents are nowhere to be found and, not too soon after, the undead start to slither from the depths of the lake with a penchant for lumbering and a hunger for human flesh.
This movie abandons the rules of virtually every other zombie flick in existence whereas these particular ghouls are not stopped by bullets to the cranium but rather by the power of prayer! PRAISE JESUS! This might make a modicum of sense if there were any sort of religious or spiritual context as to why the dead walk the Earth, but there is nary a sociopathic priest, a disenfranchised Shaman, or a scorned PMSing nun to be found and thus one must conclude this is all the happenstance of lazy writing.
Kirk Cameron: Zombie Hunter, I mean, Dead in the Water falls victim to all of the usual trappings of your typical low budget zombie flick. The acting is a bit stiff, the dialogue is trite, the action sequences are few and far between, the gore is marginal at best, and nobody ever seems too particularly distraught when one of their loved ones gets cannibalized. In retrospect, I think I was more upset when my DVR failed to record the last thirty seconds of the series finale of The Shield than when these girls realize that their parents became a midday zombie snack.
This film is not that bad, nor is it that good. It just is, and that's the kiss of death in the entertainment industry. At least Uwe Boll makes awful movies that elicit some sort of guttural reaction, which prompts discussion on message boards and at water coolers. Dead in the Water is simply akin to a painting of a beige square on a tan background hung on a light brown wall, equal parts uninspiring and instantaneously forgettable.
Video and Audio:
The video is in anamorphic widescreen, and while the daylight shots look decent, anything shot at night or in the dark (which is the majority of the final act) suffers from grain and artifact.
The 2.0 channel audio is serviceable, with a dialogue track that fortunately does not get washed out. This release also offers English, Spanish, and Italian subtitles.
Dead in the Water is chock full of special features including 8 minutes of random behind the scenes footage (unfortunately without any narrative, insight, or cohesive structure), a short blooper real, two commentary tracks, a photo montage, a creepy unrelated short film starring one of the female leads, and trailers for four other Indican releases.