Directed by – Corbin Bernsen
Written by – Kenny Yakkel
Starring – Corbin Bernsen, David Moscow, Bill Moseley, Patricia Tallman, Haley Pullos, Dan Lauria, Elle Travis, Joshua Feinman, Lakshmi Manchu, Larry Drake, Navid Negahban, Susan Ruttan, Anthony Ray Parker, Federico Dordei, Herzl Tobey, Andrea Shreeman, Ruben Pla, Lauren Leah Mitchell, Roger E. Fanter
I have been seriously lacking in the review department over the last week. I blame a series of headaches (which are really annoying) and the fact that I kept falling asleep while watching some terrible flicks this week. Now I’ve had Dead Air kicking around the house for awhile now but had put off watching it. This is mainly due to the fact that it really looked like a carbon copy of Pontypool, which it almost is. On top of that it wasn’t really all that good.
I never get too excited about any flick starring Bill Moseley. It’s not that he’s a bad actor, he’s actually quite good in this one, it’s just that he always seems to be in these lackluster flicks. Dead Air is way too much like Pontypool at first. Moseley is an obnoxious radio DJ and he’s staying on the air after zombies are unleashed. While the characters of the flick are very similar to Pontypool, the overall plot is very different. This one has a terrorist bio-attack that causes people to wind up like the zombies of 28 Days Later (which weren’t really zombies!). They’re fast, they’re pissed off and they’ll rip your face off.
The main problem with this movie is that it isn’t Pontypool. We get lots of scenes that take place outside of the radio station so the tension of wondering what is really happening outside is gone. Moseley is also the best actor in the flick and since he’s in the radio station, every time we get a glimpse of outside we just lost the best character in the movie. The zombies aren’t scary or gory and neither is the rest of the flick. Very disappointing. Since I’m not really interested in any of the characters, I don’t care what happens to them and since alot of the movie follows some people trapped in a radio studio, well, that’s a problem.
While the beginning portion of the flick is kind of dragging along, the later half of the movie becomes this heavy handed look at racism and politics. One of the terrorists winds up in the radio station which begins a series of arguments over why they’ve attacked America. It is way too much. I wouldn’t go into the exact reasons for what has happened because that just ruins the movie. I wouldn’t recommend the movie but that doesn’t mean people don’t want to watch it. I’m just warning that the film suddenly becomes a baseball bat of a political message that we’re constantly being bashed over the head with.
It’s a shame that the movie was released so close to Pontypool because it will never break the comparison. It doesn’t help that Dead Air just isn’t that great of a movie. It’s giant message of racism and politics doesn’t make the movie any better either. It’s not a zombie movie and it’s not a government conspiracy movie but it’s trying to be both. It’s full of characters I don’t care about and it doesn’t deliver any gore. Dead Air is an appropriate title for the movie because that is just about what it delivered.
Under the marquee – Will