Originally written and published on zombietraining.com on September 19, 2013
A group of high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they ban together and try to overcome their differences in order to survive a zombie uprising.
On the upside the parody element of stereotypical high school kids, which could have been embarrassing, was handled nicely by allowing the actors to add personality to their respective roles. It also helps that Detention has a solid cast of young actors that can actually act, so when the expected character revelations appear they don’t seem forced or awkward.
On the down side the film falls flat at times with its misplaced character exposition and the comedy being forced at times, including character names and place referencing from other horror films, which are a distraction rather than being a tongue in cheek send-up.
Though there is no laugh out loud moments there is some subtle, and not so subtle, humor along with some above average bloody effects that will certainly appeal to Gorehounds. All in all, director Alex Craig Mann manages to balance the humor with the gore, and though it’s not the most original attempt, it is certainly a worthwhile and enjoyable zom-com.
Now for the ratings…
Zombie Content: 7 – zombies in the hall, zombies in the classrooms, and even a large zombie rat in the ceiling.
Entertainment Value: 6 – Blood and gore throughout; at times serious and other times comical, but never too horrific. Nearly as many negatives to the film as positives but the strong cast makes their characters interesting, and Alexa Nikolas’s (Zoey 101 & The Walking Dead) portrayal of Goth chick Willow shines.
Defense and Tactics: 8 – Zombie killings with whatever they can find in the school. You’ll especially enjoy the paper cutter guillotine scene.
ZT Rating: 7.0 – Though Detention of the Dead has issues, it is still an entertaining zombie comedy well worth the watch.
Detention of the Dead
Directed by Alex Craig Mann
Written by Alex Craig Mann, Rob Rinow
Cast: Jacob Zachar, Alexa Nikolas, Christa B. Allen, Jayson Blair, Justin Chon, Max Adler and Joseph Porter
Run Time: 87 minutes
DVD Release Date: July 2013