Saturday, December 23, 2006

"Shadow: Dead Riot" review

Shadow: Dead Riot (2006)

Directed by Derek Wan
Writing credits Michael Gingold Richard Siegel

Tony Todd .... Shadow
Erin Brown .... Crystal
Tatianna Butler .... Mondo
Carla Greene .... Solitaire
Andrea Langi .... Elsa Thorne
Ruby Larocca .... Rage

“Shadow: Dead Riot” is a horrible title for a pretty fun movie. It’s all about an inmate named Shadow, (Tony Todd). He causes the dead to riot. OK, so the title makes sense once you see the movie but it doesn’t grab you when you’re strolling through the video store like “Woman’s Prison Zombie Massacre!” would have.

So Shadow gets executed and is buried in the prison yard. Years go by and the prison is changed into an experimental woman’s prison. Of course it is. What else would it turn into? Shadow hears the woman’s prison movie happening above his lonely grave and knows that he needs to join the party raging above him. From there, the movie writes itself as zombies, horny prison guards and mutant babies all converge for a final B-movie explosion.

“Shadow: Dead Riot” is made for B-movie fans by B-movie fans. Some serious students of exploitation flicks made this movie. It attempts to take a lot of different genres of B-cinema and mush them together. There are plenty of movie references to entertain you. One scene has a zombie getting kicked onto a pipe. It goes through his mouth so he ends up looking like the dead girl in “Cannibal Holocaust”. There are also references to “Story of Ricky”, “It’s Alive” and in a particularly nasty scene, “Burial Ground”. Those mutant babies sure are hungry.

Overall, I enjoyed “Shadow: Dead Riot”. It moved right along and gave me the B-movie fix I needed. I’m not an addict though. OK, maybe I am. Why stop when it feels so good?

One last thing, my one complaint against “Shadow: Dead Riot” is the lack of lesbian prison action. This was disappointing. It was especially heartbreaking when the main prison guard had the prisoner in the shower. This scene was moving along just like it should when it screeched to a halt thanks to the warden’s coitus lesbian interruptus. This was not right. The guard didn’t even get naked! Come on man. It clearly states above every woman’s prison main gate, “Abandon all clothes, ye who enter here.” Any B-movie scholar should know that.

SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 shower riotsNow the prisoner on the right looks familiar. What was her name again? Erin Mundae? Misty Brown? I get them confused.
The main prison guard is called Elsa Thorne, a reference to the greatest of all woman's prison movies, "Ilsa" and the lovely Dyanne Thorne. Too bad this scene didn't lead anywhere interesting either. What would Ilsa have done?


GeronimoV said...

I was surprised that you didn't give credit to the fine work that Carla Greene did in her role as Solitaire. She kicked some serious butt in this movie, especially with Tony Todd and Tatianna Butler.
Erin Brown made the most of her nice little part--I agree, it could have been more interesting had Andrea Langi been allowed to advance their scene a few more minutes--but it was really Carla's vehicle.

Dr. Gore ( said...

Carla Greene kicked some butt. No doubt about that. But when you've seen as many woman's prison movies as I have, you tend to look for a little more from your heroines. Like rampant nudity. Carla failed to hit my radar screen because of this failing on her character's part. She does kick some butt though.