Saturday, February 24, 2007

Night of the Living Dorks (2004)

Night of the Living Dorks is a riotous, raucous German horror-comedy that had me rolling on the floor with its raunchy humor, fun story and clever nods to other great zombie flicks.

Philip (Tino Mewes) and his best friends Konrad (Thomas Schmieder) and Weener (Manuel Cortez) are the three biggest losers at Frederich Nietzsche High. But when an inept voodoo ceremony by the local Goth clique leads to a fatal car accident, this trio of uber-dorks returns as indestructible zombies with an insatiable appetite for human flesh, wild parties and gym class revenge. Can Philip now score with the hottest girl in school before he decomposes? Is there any personal dismemberment that can’t be fixed with a stapler? And even if an antidote is found, will it damper the uninhibited high life of the undead?

Night of the Living Dorks combines the raunchiness of 80’s teen sex romps with the blood ‘n’ guts action of a Romero zombie flick. Darling of the festival circuit, this horror-comedy was the winner of the Audience Choice Award at the 2005 Fantasia Film Festival. Now it has finally hit stateside and is available to own on DVD courtesy of wonderful Anchor Bay Entertainment.

I have only good things to say about the film…Let’s start with the great performances throughout the entire film. The actors playing the three dorks were very natural and a pleasure to watch in action, especially when they began losing body parts and they begin getting a little…hungry. Their comedic timing was pitch-perfect! Special mention should also go to Collien Fernandes, who played Philip’s Goth friend/next-door-neighbor who has a crush on him. The rest of the actors did a great job as well, from Philip’s lax mom (Sissi Perlinger) to the typical clique kids you find in high school to their hard-partying and sexy teacher, Frau Niedermacher (Patricia Thielemann).

The story and characters are all well-developed and writer/director Mathias Dinter did a wonderful job with the film. It is more of a comedy than a horror movie, so there isn’t that much gore, but the wonderful comedic elements more than make up for it. The one-liners are much more racy than anything American films could get away with and of course this makes it that much more hilarious.

I loved the Revenge of the Nerds angle that went hand-in-hand with the three geeks’ increased strength from being undead. They were able to beat down (and chow down) on the bullies who harassed them and even beat the formidable rugby team in a match. Maybe I’m just a nerd at heart, but the combination of geeks turning the tables on the popular kids with the added bonus of being zombies while doing so just sets my heart all a-flutter.

I was a little disappointed that there was hardly any blood and guts, but again, the comedic elements makes up for it. Be warned, though, this film is not straight horror, and contains more comedy (and less serious moments) than even Shaun of the Dead. It also doesn’t contain the high levels of nudity and sex that many 80’s teen comedies feature. It is still a very enjoyable and entertaining movie…ah, if only The Breakfast Club had featured a couple of zombies in that library…

The extras on the disc are well worth checking out and include a look behind the scenes, deleted and extended scenes, an alternate ending, theatrical trailer and a blooper reel. If you enjoy horror-comedies like Shaun of the Dead and Freak Out, you are sure to enjoy Night of the Living Dorks.

Available on Amazon!

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