A nice shout out to some movies from the 80’s such as ‘Escape from New York’ and ‘The Warriors’, the violent and bloody short film ‘Dead All Night’ is a great reminder of those golden years of filmmaking that were bold, action-packed and funny as well. While they’re might not be a lot of new ground covered in this movie, it was well thought out and delivers exactly what it should and to that end is entertaining and fun.
We are immediately dropped into a post-apocalyptic world where we discover there are pockets or areas of the country that are simply lawless wastelands. A warlord of the wasteland simply known as The Veteran (Kyle William) who has some version of a doomsday device to end what is left of the world. This leaves the government with a big problem so they find a ‘disposable’ solution, that being death row inmate and former Special Forces agent Gavin Green (Ry Barrett) to infiltrate The Veteran’s hideout and save the world.
Writer and first-time director Christopher Giroux has an obvious love for this style of action and follows the template to the letter, creating a believable world on a shoestring budget and with many hard working actors and crew members. Barrett as angry army man Gavin Green chews up the scenery and seems to be having the time of his life blowing off some steam by killing bad guys in some very imaginative ways. He’s big, believable and badass and the perfect vehicle for Giroux to use to navigate his way through this film.
There was also some nice work by William as well as Robert Nolan and Breanne TeBoekhorst as the two officers unlucky enough to have to deal with Gavin Green to accomplish their goal. The atmosphere and music score were also well done, setting the proper mood and sense of dread needed to make a film like this seem real. There are obvious shout outs to ‘Escape to New York’ everywhere but hey, that’s not a bad thing when it’s done the right way, as witnessed here.
The one thing I would love to ask writer and director Giroux about is the running time of this short. Pushing towards thirty minutes, it is not the usual length for a short and sometimes feels like it really wanted to be a full-length feature instead. To this end, some scenes felt like they would have been better served by extending them much longer but thankfully most of the time the film moved smoothly from one scene to another.
In the end, this was a great homage to the 80’s style of filmmaking that Giroux and company managed to embrace and make their own in the best way possible. I would love to see Giroux get back behind the camera and do a feature-length film, and the sooner the better.
Four out of five stars
You can find Dead All Night on the Bloody Bits Shorts Compilation, presented by Blood in the Snow, and the DVD is available to pre-order here:
- Great shout out to 80's style filmmaking and action
- Nice gritty and realistic feel for a small budget short film
- I am left to wonder if the movie would have been better served as a full length feature