Oh where are you third season of The Walking Dead? Why are you making us wait until October - don't you know we're having to settle for movies like this one to get our zombie fixes? It's like eating spinach when you're used to ice cream. Oh this movie had a little bit of promise - at least a halfway original idea (Has there even been an attempt at a zombie buddy picture? SOTD doesn't count, only one of them was dead.) mixed with a bit of funny. For the first half anyway. If you look up information on this movie, you will find... nothing. Or nearly nothing. The best I could find was:
"In a world of putrid zombie movies, Deadheads is a breath of fresh air!" - Bruce Campbell, Evil Dead Trilogy (I find this quote highly suspect - in one scene they're at a Drive-In and Evil Dead is playing... hmm, could there be a connection?)
Synopsis: Two inexplicably coherent zombies awake amidst a zombie attack, and decide to take a road trip to find the one's lost love, unaware they are being chased by the agents of a ruthless company with its own agenda. (Okay only one woke up, and the agenda is never explained so.... they didn't know either.)
That's it. So you'll just have to trust my rather mushy memory to let you know what goes on in this almost-gets-there-but-not-quite bit of zombie mess. At least I guess you could say that in no way did they try to copy Romero. That's saying something at least. The movie begins when Brent 'wakes up'. He is in a crashed type of vehicle, there is a lot of stuff in here but they don't dwell on it. He tries to leave but is tethered by a tube in a badly stitched arm. I actually flinched when he ripped the tube out - and I don't flinch. Outside is blood, wrecked vehicles and mayhem. He puts on his glasses and tries to find out what's going on. Zombie mayhem is what's going on. He tries to get to a payphone or something and runs into Mike.
He tries to get away from this strange looking guy when Mike comments 'You just woke up, didn't you?' Not being the smartest nerd in the pack Brent doesn't quite get what he means until he explains that they're both dead. Very dead. But not rampaging dead like the flesh chompers all around them. Smart dead. He convinces Brent to go inside this redneck bar so they can decide what to do. Munching on their fellow man is out, so they order burgers, raw and a pitcher of beer. Then zombies storm the place and the two are stuck inside with all the rednecks and one African American, the only one with sense who starts ordering the others around to fortify the place to keep the zombies out - wait I've seen that somewhere before haven't I? Oh well.
The two need out so they decide to stand in front of a window - sure enough zombie arms break the glass and grab them, dragging them out. Since they're already dead, they're just kind of passed to the back. And they escape the madness. For now. A shadowy, moaning figure starts to follow. Mike finds him, an amiable if hungry zombie he names 'Cheese'. Sort of a zombie pet. Finding a newspaper, Brent realizes he has been dead for three years. Bummer, because somehow conveniently still in his pocket is an engagement ring he was about to give his girl. He needs to find her, and a road trip begins. One reviewer (How much do those guys get paid anyway?) describes this as SOTD meets The Hangover. Not even freaking close. Oh there are a couple of funny moments - Brent loses an arm but just pops it back on, making Mike comment 'You're just like Mr. Potato Head!' And my favorite line of the movie, sad to say, was when Cheese is standing in the middle of the road and a speeding truck mows him down (didn't hurt) leaving Mike to comment 'What kind of crotch waffle drives like that?' Sorry, that was it.
The energy stays pretty even as they find a ride with an old guy who either doesn't notice or doesn't care that the three are rotting pretty steadily (must not have a sense of smell) and will take them as far as Lake Michigan. If you're looking for zombie gore and body parts jokes, they're here. Tasteless, humorless and pointless, but present. And we get the side story.
This wasn't a government oopsy that caused an outbreak - a company named Genutek (wow, how original) has been developing this on purpose to, I dunno, blackmail the country for money? They wanted to destroy a major city but stuff got out of hand. Most got the 'regular' zombie fluid, a select few the alternate version so they could have 'intelligent' zombies, no reason given. And Genutek wants these two bobble-heads back why? More experiments? It's not explained and so the three travel while unaware of the 'bad' guys chasing them.
This is where the movie begins to sputter and die. Yes, we had an interesting idea. Brent is the very intelligent nerd zombie, Mike the stoner laid back zombie, Cheese the dumb, violent (yet somehow endearing) zombie. But now what? An endless chase where near misses, captures and escapes, and bad jokes (and language) fill the time? This is where it loses whatever cohesiveness it could have had and now you're just waiting for an ending, any kind of ending.
Brent finds his girl, 'remembers' that it was his future father-in-law (also the owner of Genutek, duh) who shot him dead in the first place (In the head, doesn't that kind of disqualify him to reanimate?) and finally all the characters wind up at her house, where just as Brent tries to tell his girl how he feels they all draw guns and we have the final showdown. Or not. Brent asks them just for one minute. Okay. Okay? They want his blood (or something) and okay? He tells his girl her father killed him - she reacts as if he was telling her the weather (nice acting there toots) and that he loves her but he has nothing so he just gives her the ring and gives himself up. Just as they are about to be loaded in the van for the hundredth time in this thing we get the last minute girl-wants-boy-anyway drek and she put on the ring and kisses him (ewwwww). And every body claps. They FREAKING CLAP. What is this, a zombie John Hughes movie? Because it's also the end. Wow.