Horror and comedy have long been companions on the big screen and admittedly with mixed results. It can be a difficult task to walk that fine line between the two without creating a big mess that really just doesn’t work. Thankfully, Night of the Living Deb picks a side with incredible, going for the comedic jugular with glee and making this movie a hilarious take on your typical zombie movie.
The movie starts with are soon to be heroine Deb (Maria Thayer) waking up in someone else’s bed after a night of drinking. She is thrilled to find out it belongs to the very handsome Ryan (Michael Cassidy) even if she can’t remember what happened or how she got there. Ryan is also less than thrilled at the circumstances and quickly ushers her out the door and smack into the middle of what appears to be a full blown zombie apocalypse.
Some rather humorous circumstances leads to the two of them getting back together, except this time it is to fight for their lives. They end up taking refuge at the house of Ryan’s father Frank, played by the always welcome and equally funny Ray Wise. This is where they eventually discover what is really going on and the floodgates are opened wide for the fun to begin.
There are a lot of things to like about this film. Even though zombie comedies are really nothing new, Night of the Living Deb feels like it’s actually exploring new territory when in fact it’s just showing the genre how it’s supposed to be done. There will be a lot of comparisons to Shaun of the Dead and rightly so as Deb sometimes seems like the female version of Shaun. However, this movie seems to take it to another level with great jokes that are perfectly timed and delivered in a way that seems so natural you would swear what you were watching could be happening right outside of the theater you were now in.
Of course, the real gem of the show is Maria Thayer. I dare you to not fall in love with her character Deb who combines stupidity and innocence to make a perfectly ridiculous hero. It also helps that she does seem a few sandwiches short of a picnic, further adding to her already abundance of charm. Michael Cassidy’s turn as Ryan is also a lot of fun, taking a character you initially want to dislike into the almost perfect companion for Deb, who slowly but surely charms him into submission.
The script, written by Andy Selsor, is spot on and is filled we great jokes and some really smart observations. Director Kyle Rankin also keeps things moving at a great pace, only slowing things down to expertly set the stage for the next joke. While the acting is excellent, these two helped the actors with direction and dialogue that was very well thought out and executed.
I laughed so hard at times I missed some dialogue so I went back and watched it a second time and caught some things I missed the first time around. This is definitely the best zombie comedy since Shaun of the Dead and I believe actually surpasses it in some ways. Do yourself a favor and check this movie out as soon as you can. I guarantee you’ll have a great time.
Five out of five stars
- Well written and directed movie that is smart and knows it's genre very well
- Maria Thayer is absolutely hilarious as Deb
- Ray Wise. That is all.
- Should have been longer.