Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Detention of the Dead

Zero-imagination zom-com offers neither scares nor laughs.

June 27, 2013

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1380248-Detention_Dead_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

This week's lesson in connect-the-dots genre mash-ups is Alex Craig Mann's Detention of the Dead, a numbing pastiche whose brightest comedic moment is the reference to a newly reanimated jock as "Aberzombie and Fitch." The Breakfast Club-meets¬-zombie conceit may generate some curiosity on home-video, but word of mouth will be poor.

Jacob Zachar leads a thin ensemble as Eddie, a good kid given a rare punishment when caught using Adderall as a study aid. Kept after school with a couple of bullying athletes, a skateboarding stoner, the head cheerleader and a Goth girl, Eddie is still fretting about his permanent record when a Romero-style outbreak turns the school halls into a deathtrap.

Having invested all their imagination in putting this handful of stereotypes together, screenwriters Mann and Rob Rinow have them rush through the tired plot points of a flesh-eater siege: racing through shambling monsters to a better hideout, having one of their number hide an infection until he turns rabid and flirting chastely with "If you were the last boy on Earth" sexual fantasies. In an ill-advised fit of originality, they have a zombie arm break through a barricade and put a death grip on Eddie's crotch, initiating some crude double-entendre antics whose money shot spurts blood all over the horrified cheerleader.

With makeup and gore effects that could be bested by moderately gifted fanboys at a well-equipped high school, Detention never manages a single scare—a failing that would be forgivable if only it were making us laugh.
-The Hollywood Reporter


Film Review: Detention of the Dead

Zero-imagination zom-com offers neither scares nor laughs.

June 27, 2013

-By John DeFore


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1380248-Detention_Dead_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

This week's lesson in connect-the-dots genre mash-ups is Alex Craig Mann's Detention of the Dead, a numbing pastiche whose brightest comedic moment is the reference to a newly reanimated jock as "Aberzombie and Fitch." The Breakfast Club-meets¬-zombie conceit may generate some curiosity on home-video, but word of mouth will be poor.

Jacob Zachar leads a thin ensemble as Eddie, a good kid given a rare punishment when caught using Adderall as a study aid. Kept after school with a couple of bullying athletes, a skateboarding stoner, the head cheerleader and a Goth girl, Eddie is still fretting about his permanent record when a Romero-style outbreak turns the school halls into a deathtrap.

Having invested all their imagination in putting this handful of stereotypes together, screenwriters Mann and Rob Rinow have them rush through the tired plot points of a flesh-eater siege: racing through shambling monsters to a better hideout, having one of their number hide an infection until he turns rabid and flirting chastely with "If you were the last boy on Earth" sexual fantasies. In an ill-advised fit of originality, they have a zombie arm break through a barricade and put a death grip on Eddie's crotch, initiating some crude double-entendre antics whose money shot spurts blood all over the horrified cheerleader.

With makeup and gore effects that could be bested by moderately gifted fanboys at a well-equipped high school, Detention never manages a single scare—a failing that would be forgivable if only it were making us laugh.
-The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Food Chains
Film Review: Food Chains

Vitally important, infuriating exposé of the world of injustice behind the food you consume. More »

Monk with a Camera
Film Review: Monk With a Camera: The Life and Journey of Nicholas Vreeland

Enthralling and uplifting documentary about a man of the world turned monk, but one who effects real, inspiring change. More »

The Circle
Film Review: The Circle

Very strong, historically intriguing and important gay document is marred by intrusive real-life interview footage, which seriously breaks up the dramatic momentum. More »

babadook
Film Review: The Babadook

An intense, terrifying indie horror film with more on its mind than scaring its audience. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Hunger Games - Mockingjay Pt 1
Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Darker, less action-packed first half of the final installment of the popular franchise moves from arenas to rubble aplenty as Jennifer Lawrence’s super-heroine is called upon to serve her beleaguered and much-destroyed nation as propaganda instrument and leader. Fans of the books and previous two films get a less flashy palette here, but the engaging characters and strong story return to stir interest for the scheduled November 2015 finale. More »

Foxcatcher review
Film Review: Foxcatcher

Character is destiny in this masterfully controlled true-crime sports drama that will likely catapult Steve Carell into the Oscar race. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here