Dead and Rotting (2002)





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Makeup effects specialist David P. Barton's directorial debut is this fairly atmospheric straight-to-video horror film about three jokers who accidentally kill the son of a witch named Abigail (cult favorite Debbie Rochon). As might be expected, the witch unleashes her vengeance on them, first seducing the trio and then using their own devilish offspring to destroy them. There are some memorable images of rotting, scythe-wielding zombies shuffling through the misty woods which is reminiscent of The Fog (1979), the expected gory violence, and appearances from genre regulars Trent Haaga, Jeff Dylan Graham, and Tom Hoover (Polymorph) to keep things lively. This was the final collaboration between J.R. Bookwalter's low-budget horror factory at Tempe Entertainment and Charles Band's slightly more upscale Full Moon Pictures.
Rating: R (violence, language)
Genre: Horror
Directed By: David P. Barton
Written By: David P. Barton
In Theaters: wide
Tempe Home Entertainment

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Stephen O'Mahoney
as Hollis Bunson
Tom Hoover
as J.P.
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Critic Reviews for Dead and Rotting

All Critics (0)

impressive throughout with nice use of colourful lighting and some strong imagery

Full Review… | August 10, 2005
Sex Gore Mutants

Audience Reviews for Dead and Rotting


Three practical jokers (O'Mahony, Haaga and Hoover) inadvertently cause the death of a witch's familiar while feuding with her. Using dark magic, the witch (Katz-Norrod and Rochon) sets about to gain revenge. "Dead and Rotting" is one of those movies that deserves a remake with a bigger budget. It has an interesting story with some unexpected twists and good pacing. Most of the actors also do decent jobs in their roles. Unfortunately, cheapness wafts from every frame of "Dead and Rotting". While a noble attempt was made in post-production to make the film appear as if it WASN'T shot in digital video, there is still a flat quality to the films and a softness to the shadows that still give the sense that it was shot with a couple of camcorders. The special effects and make-up are also barely half a step above Halloween spook-house stuff... not so bad that anyone needs to feel embarrassed but barely passable for a commercial production. This is also one Full Moon movie where they should have skipped the almost-obligatory tiny terror creature; the "homonculus" featured during the film's climax can't even really be called a puppet, and I also doubt that someone shaking it like a ragdoll from just off camera counts as puppeteering. ("Ghoulies" this isn't... it isn't even "Blood Dolls".) Things aren't all bad, though. The scene where the vengeful witch transforms from an old crone (Barbara Katz-Norrod who does a fine job at playing a lonely, brokenhearted old woman) to a young hottie (Debbie Rochon, who does a fine job playing sexy temptress) is very well staged considering the only effects used are edits and puffs from a smoke machine. Similarly, the revenge of the witch and the slow method by which she takes it is very creepy and the related make-up effects are decently done. If you want a horror movie with a slightly different twist and don't mind watching a film that was plainly made with very little money, you will probably find "Dead and Rotting" worth the 71 minutes it will consume of your time. This is particularly true if you enjoy that special brand of weirdness that's present in the best movies from Full Moon. This is by no means a good, movie--it's at the absolute low end of a 5 rating--but there's enough raw energy here and Full Moon magic to make it worth watching. Dead and Rotting Starring: Stephen O'Mahony, Trent Haaga, Tom Hoover, Debbie Rochon, Jeff Dylan Graham and Barbara Katz-Norrod Director: David P. Barton

Steve Miller
Steve Miller

sub indie. This started off like it was going to be great, but then it ended up being kinda lame. It was neat seeing the cheesy monsters (Seriously they looked really bad).

John Trifiletti
John Trifiletti

[font=Courier New][url=""]Rashômon[/url], an [url=""]Akira Kurosawa[/url] film (and if you don’t know who Kurosawa is, you and I are no longer on speaking terms), is a beautifully put together film. It has an intriguing plot, a tale told from three very different perspectives, wonderful cinematography, and takes a long hard look at humanity. To say that [url=""]Dead and Rotting[/url] lacks these qualities would be understatement so profound as to cause an intellectual implosion. To actually compare Rashômon with Dead and Rotting would cause a person’s brain to devour itself in an attempt at comprehending how one movie is so good and another so horribly bad, so sloppily put together, that nuns weep. You know, nuns that like movies. Anyway, Dead and Rotting. The plot is this: Three guys annoy a witch by beating up her disturbed/disturbing son. Witch annoys them back by covering them with some poison ivy hoodoo. We are then treated to a montage of them throwing up. It’s bad enough we have to watch ONE of them vomiting, but to see it three different times from multiple angles is twenty times worse. One of them even voids his tender tummy into his coffee cup. Lovely. The three guys then hire two druggies to annoy witch further by throwing rocks through her windows. The two druggies instead boil the witch’s cat (shades of Fatal Attraction). Why they do this is never explained. Perhaps there was an unused subplot that tells of pothead #1’s undying hatred of cats ever since a cat ate his pet mouse, Lil’ Bill. Anyway, the cat is really the witch’s son or something. So then the witch enacts her master plan. She first transforms herself into a young, sorta hot woman. She picks up the three guys in a bar and preceded to have sex with all three of them, one right after the other. I want you to keep this in mind later. She then goes back to her woody cottage. Where she then expels some horrible disgusting blob from her sacred place. The less said about that, the better. The blob is then put into a pumpkin which she then plants and it becomes three ghouls. Which makes perfect sense. It is common knowledge that after-sex expulsions, when shoved into a pumpkin, take on monster form. Which is why one should never have sex with a pumpkin. The ghouls go on a murderous rampage, killing two of the three guys. They are killed in order of who was the most annoying, from greatest to least. This is the first thing the movie gets right. So we’re left with our hero, Hollis. He is unaware that all of his friends have been killed by ghouls, and so just sits in the bar by himself. Where the witch (still in young, sorta hot, form) approaches him. Hollis believes he is in love, and what follows is a touching scene of budding romance. Or what would be touching if you weren’t aware that just two nights ago there was a not so touching orgy. And that she was a witch hell bent on killing everyone. Ok, let’s wrap this up, too many words spent on this movie already. Witch tries to kill Hollis after they have sex again. Hollis escapes with the help of Druggy #1. I’d tell you his name, but I stopped taking notes at this point. Hollis wants to go to the cops, but Druggy tells him, and this is the greatest line of all time, "Witches are like gangbangers, you get in a fix with em, you gotta fight your own battles". Right on Druggy #1. You will live on in our hearts. The Druggy then tells Hollis that they need to fight fire with fire. So they go off to get help from the Druggy’s ex-wife, who’s an ex-stripper witch. Let’s repeat that one together: His ex-stripper witch ex-wife. She makes them some powerful hoodoo balls made from rose petals and their pinkies. They throw the balls at the evil witch, turn her into a badly made puppet, and kill her. Roll credits. There are no redeeming features in this movie. Except for that one quote. That one quote rose this movie from a 0 to a 1. [/font]

Dylan Charles
Dylan Charles

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