The SyFy channel in the USA has been churning out schlock horror and b-grade science fiction films for years. It’s a genre in it’s own right and they do it well, grabbing the popular stars of the day and throwing them into the most ridiculously written plots for a laugh.
By far, their most successful has been Sharknado which has spawned three sequels so far. Long before that though, there were gems like Arachnoquake, Dinocroc vs SuperGator, Sharktopus, Mongolian Death Worm, Mothman, and oh, so many more.
And now comes Dead 7. Think of the cinema classic, The Magnificent Seven, then change your mind.
Written by Nick Carter – of The Backstreet Boys fame – Dead 7 is where boy bands go to die. Reuniting members of The BackStreet Boys with members of 98 Degrees, O-Town, NSYNC and more, Dead 7 is a gory, violent zombie western that plucks off its pretty players one by one. There’s a few hot chicks in the mix, because there has to be for this kind of film to work, but there’s so much flying blood and guts it’s soon hard to tell who’s hot and who’s not.
Dead 7 uses all the conventions of schlock horror to good affect: fight scenes are jerky and sped up but with obligatory slow-motion sprays of blood, romance blossoms in the scenes before one of them dies, there’s a lunatic in charge of the land, staggering zombies keep pace with running victims, and people get trapped despite an obvious route behind them.
Spoofing the 1960’s western The Magnificent Seven, Nick Carter’s script also uses the western genre to tell his zombie tale about a band of seven sent to take out the villain Apocolypta in order to protect the human town of Desert Springs.
Apocolypta, played by Debra Wilson, is deliciously over-the-top as the evil human/zombie hybrid, and seems to have the greatest amount of fun camping it up while most of the other cast members find their laughs in delivering the dumb script as if they mean it. Both work, but Wilson shines because she lets lose.
Lovers of b-grade schlock should definitely get a kick out of Dead 7. I wouldn’t say it’s a killer production, but in the rating style of A-grade, B-grade, etc, it’s definitely off the alphabet scale!
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 6
Dead 7 is out now on DVD.