Tall, Dark, and Dead – 58 – Masters of Horror: Dance of the Dead
Title: Masters of Horror: Dance of the Dead
Director: Tobe Hooper
Leads: Robert Englund, Jonathan Tucker, Jessica Lowndes
Favorite quote: “I hope you animals die!”
“Yeah, that’d be nice.”
Thoughts: This is one of my favorite zombie films ever – if you’re a zombie fan, and you haven’t seen it, see it. It’s incredible. For a mere hour’s worth of footage, it sucks you in and tells an incredibly tight, gritty story. I love it to death.
(I also love Robert Englund, but for the record? He’s officially the only classic slasher actor I wouldn’t want to be left alone with. I’ve heard that he’s a total sweetheart, but he seems so intense. I think I’d be scared out of my wits.)
Dance of the Dead is basically what every “let’s throw some humans into the zombie pit for our amusement!” scene in every other zombie movie wants to be. It presents the dead as pure entertainment, and explores what their exploitation says about the living.
In the movie the zombies are known as lupies or “loopies,” the victims of a wartime chemical known as LUP. This chemical brings them partially back to life, albeit locked in rigor mortis. Englund plays the MC of a club where the lupies are used as dancers. In the end, the main theme develops into questions of who “owns” a dead body, whether or not the dead should have any say over how their bodies are used, and how the living are impacted by their use of the dead.
I don’t want to give too much away, because you should see this. That is all.