A zombie movie from the folks that gave us Ticked Off Trannies With Knives? Hell yeah I’m watching this. If you’re a lover of good & goofy homemade horror – and who isn’t? – you’ll have a blast with Dallas.
This film starts with one of my favorite quotes, racking up the points in my book. (Though the film attributes it to Plato, others have been credited with spouting it, including Ian Maclaren, John Watson, and more…but it’s a great quote whoever it originally came from.) Anyway, on to the zombies!
Yay! There’s a pill that promises to cure every disease known to mankind, from the common cold to HIV! What could possibly go wrong? Uh…zombies y’all. Zombies. It’s a simple premise, but with the addition of conservatives thumpers and LGBTQ folks teaming up to try to survive, you’ll be running the gamut of emotions here. There’s laughs, clap-backs, suspense, terror, heartbreak, and winking nods in this one. And damn if Dallas doesn’t pull it all off.
The Fantastic Voyage-esque opening credits are a lot of fun, combining exposition with cool graphics. The overall look of the film is impressive for what looks like a minuscule budget, with scenes that have a Grindhouse look, complete with moments of “scratched celluloid”, a “missing reel” that skips the usual dull everyone getting together scenes, and groovy 70s styled production logos. Yeah there are a few unnecessary Dutch angles, but the editing keeps the suspense cranked up to 11 during the “ZOMG Zombeeeez” opening scenes. Seriously, I was damn impressed by the editing here. For a low budget movie, it’s incredible. Writer/director/editor Israel Luna makes making movies look easy y’all. (Spoiler: it’s not. It’s really not.)
The FX is really cool, with lots of the red stuff doing the heavy lifting for attacks, and grey greasepaint for the zombie transformations. The minimalist gore works great here, keeping the focus on the story instead of having viewers hypnotized by half-baked FX. Bravo y’all. Oh don’t worry, there are limbs lost, guts munched, guns fired, and machetes swung. But even in the most climactic of scenes, the relatively low-key on-camera gore fits the vibe of the film perfectly.
A big part of my enjoyment of Dallas was watching the movie unfold and think about how they pulled off scenes – especially outdoor locations. The low budget and small cast feels like Night of the Living Dead made by Troma. I mean that as a compliment.
The performances are another wonderful surprise, with the cast giving it their all. Comedic moments blend with shocking ones in this fast-paced story, and thanks to the up-for-anything cast, the characters are believable in their actions as things quickly devolve around them. I actually gave a damn when some of the characters died. And hell yeah I cheered when others did. What can I say; deep down I’m a monster. No apologies.
The film’s above-title star William Belli gives great snark as stylist/town hottie Beth-Anne Fetterman, who recently lost a husband to AIDS, and during the zombie outbreak gets thrown together with the very pastor who picketed the funeral. There’s a touching scene where Beth-Anne confronts pastor’s wife about her homophobia/hypocrisy, and it’s heartbreaking. This, and a few other brief moments in Dallas seek to open up minds while entertaining, and I applaud ’em for it.
There are plenty of tropes skewered here, including close minded thumpers, the pastor’s son who’s got a secret boyfriend, the airhead BFFs, The Only Smart One In The Room, the bossy thumper guy and his more open minded wife, the one who’s hiding a zombie bite, and the cheating wife. Dallas takes these tropes, twists them a touch, and then lets the apocalypse rip, and everything comes together nicely. Does it sound like I’m impressed with this film? I am. As a low budget horror joint, Dallas is better than it has any right to be, delivering laughs and terror in equal measure. It’s a damn good blend of satire, comedy and horror that I’m glad I got my hands on, no matter the budget. Give it a try.
Extras: A trailer for the film. What else do you want from this one?
Company: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: September 3rd, 2019
NOTE: I did receive a promotional copy of this Blu-Ray. I did not, however, receive chocolate, kittens, a rear view mirror disco ball, or anything else for writing this review.
Any chance there will be a contest for a giveaway for “Dead Don’t Die In Dallas”?
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There would be…if I could part with my copy. But I will ask MC!