Gangs of the Dead (Last Rites) (2006)


“Put on some news, I wanna hear about dead muthafuckas out there eating cops like it’s a barbecue!”

Yo son, check dis son, I’m from da Bronx son, and I just finished watching “Gangs of the Dead.” See, what makes “Gangs of the Dead” so clever is because it’s a double entendre, son. It ain’t just gangs of the dead, it’s gangs, as in groups of the dead. So it’s clever and not as stupid as y’all think. So I sat here wit ma forty, and laughed ma nuts off, while firing off ma glock. Naw, son, word is bond, I’m sick of zombie movies, son. The zombies in here, they all look like nothing but filthy hobos and alcoholics you see under the bridge in da streets. And wouldn’t you know it, now we got a bunch of black stereotypes being haunted by those flesh eating bastards, and I sit here trying to think of a reason not to turn ma glock on my head… son.

A meteor crashes in the city with nary a police report, but this doesn’t stop the dead from rising. Now, there is a Hispanic gang of stereotypes, a black gang of stereotypes, officer stereotype, and a few clichés trying to fight off the walking dead in a warehouse during a heat wave. Hard out here for a pimp, eh? Three convoluted subplots pollute the screen as an impending gang war is interrupted by a police sting, and then the walking dead intervene. No cliché is left unturned except for one. Usually in gangster flicks I see the gangs gather in a warehouse and drive their cars in, which would mean easy escape once surrounded by the walking dead.

Instead, the cars are outside, and shit hits the fan. Damn dumb ass gangsters. Reggie Bannister is along for the ride as one of the least convincing gang members and police officers I’ve ever seen, but that’s toppled by the “massive” police sting made up of two cop cars, and a small surveillance van. And there’s also my favorite one-liner of the ninety minute suckfest: “Bums are eating cops out there, man.” The fun just doesn’t stop there, this film is intent on sky rocketing every racial cliché in the book, and there’s simply not enough story here. So, we’re forced to sit through endless dialogue about gang warfare, and the gang members arguing amongst each other, while we watch the walking dead eat the living… or as many of the living that are usually found near warehouses.

Not to mention, the film basically becomes a poor man’s “Day of the Dead” with Noel Gugliemi going incredibly over the top as the low grade Capt. Rhodes ordering folks around, screaming at every step, and eventually meeting his fate at the many hands of the walking dead. “Gangs of the Dead” takes itself way too seriously, considering its awful title, and cheesy zombies, and that’s a shame. The laughs here could have been planned, instead of unintentional, and embarrassing. It sucks hard, but then, what would you expect from a movie with a title like “Gangs of the Dead”? Racial stereotypes aplenty, utterly boring zombies, and a convoluted series of unresolved sub-plots make up your typical terrible horror film for the home video market. Every time I think zombie films are good, there’s always something to bring me back to reality.