“Tobe Hooper’s Dance of the Dead”
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In a post apocalypse city, young and naive Peggy works at a diner with her over protective mother. When Jak and his friends come into the diner, Peggy succumbs to his charm and her own frustration and curiosity, and agrees to sneak out on a date with him. They end up at a popular but sleazy club called the Doom Room, where Peggy discovers something awful about her family.
This episode of the Starz Masters of Horror collection is a fascinating insight of the objectification of (especially, but not only) women, use/abuse, and self destruction. Reanimating women’s corpses in what the M.C. (Robert Englund) luridly refers to as a scientific experiment of the Living Undead Phenomenon, then poking them with electric prods, creates the Dance of the Dead. Junkies robbing people for their blood. It’s a good, creative story with well developed characters, at least the primary characters, Peggy (Jessica Lowndes) and Jak (Jonathan Tucker) and set in a rich, hedonistic, dystopian world. Even if the end leaves the audience wondering if Peggy’s situation has actually improved.
Although I understand that the camera effects are intended to express the jarring, surreal, drug addled experience of the characters, it is a bit much. The the shaking, blurred, jumpy bits are overdone.
I thought this was an intense and thought provoking short film. I was struck by it the first time I watched it and continue to enjoy the deeper subtext each time I have watched it since. I gave this 4 shots, I would have given it more, but the camera work was just distracting enough to take away from the experience.