Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dead Weight (DVD Review) - Horizon Movies

Directed By: Adam Bartlett, John Pata
Written By: Adam Bartlett, John Pata
Starring: Joe Belknap, Mary Lindberg, Michelle Courvais
Color/90 Minutes/Unrated
Region 1

The Film
Charlie awakens on his day off to eat cereal and read comic books as he typically does until he receives a frantic phone call from his girlfriend Samantha who lives several hours away in Minnesota telling him to turn on the TV to see the chaos that is happening around the country. A viral outbreak is widespread and terrorizing the entire country, turning its victims into violent, bloodthirsty maniacs. With the major cities being overrun and highways jammed and at a stand still Charlie tells Samantha to meet him in the small town of Wausau, Wisconsin where they first met.

As the days turn into weeks Charlie meets up with a trustworthy group to travel with. As they head to Wausau they encounter the struggles of survival in an apocalyptic environment. Food and water supplies are low, other survivors are usually dangerous and maniacal, and the task of finding a safe place to sleep sometimes seems impossible. As the tension builds around them, it also builds within them and Charlie begins to succumb to the rage building inside him as all he wants is to desperately find his love Samantha. When Charlie hears that Wausau fell victim to the virus he won’t let anyone stand in his way of getting to the meeting spot even if it means murdering people that helped him but when he arrives in Wausau he finds that things aren’t what he had hoped.

The writer/director duo of Adam Bartlett and John Pata took a low budget film and make it look far more expansive and costly than their budget would likely normally allow. DEAD WEIGHT is a minimalist film, we barely see any of the infected zombie creatures, there are practically no special effects and there is no CGI. The snowy scenes were filmed in the snow while the cast and crew were getting wind burn. This is gritty, real film making. It is well written and for the most part, well acted. DEAD WEIGHT is simple but successful because it pulls on real human emotions, and real situations set within a hellish version of reality. And remember to ask yourself “Why’d you jump out of the goddamn bushes?”

The Audio & Video

The Horizon Movies DVD release of DEAD WEIGHT is a very nice looking and sounding release. The anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) transfer is sharp, with top notch clarity and detail for a standard definition release. The stereo sound mix is good with no pops, crackling or other audible annoyances. The soundtrack never interferes with the character’s dialogue and overall I have no complaints about the A/V.

The Extras
DEAD WEIGHT is a pretty loaded release with a pair of commentary tracks, one with the writer/director duo and the other with stars Joe Belknap and Mary Lindberg. Also included are extended scenes, a 55 minute making of featurette and trailers.

The Bottom Line
Combine the loaded release with the fact that DEAD WEIGHT is a well executed horror film dealing with real life themes in a world run amok and you’ve got a DVD that is well worth your time and money to check out.

DEAD WEIGHT is available HERE

1 comment:

John Pata said...

Thanks so much for the great write-up, we really appreciate it! Glad you dug the film and special features, and even more importantly, why did YOU jump out of the god damn bushes?!