A Cadaver Christmas is a surprisingly fun movie and one that horror fans can enjoy during the holiday season. Supposedly made for only $7,000, it is a raw and funny mix of zombie films and It’s a Wonderful Life, sprinkled with a cool grindhouse film feel, and perhaps a little Mel Brooks thrown in.
It is Christmas Eve in a bar where a bartender is sharing some holiday spirits with one of his regulars. The janitor, played by the film’s writer Daniel Rairden-Hale, comes in covered in blood and needing a drink. There he spins the tale of his being witness to the start of a coming of zombies (cadavers) at a local science lab. The three men, along with a creep of a cop and his twisted prisoner, set out to save the town from the monsters. Our heroes have the help of effective holiday decorations to send them, once and for all, to their final sleep.
That’s it. It is that simple. The film tries to be nothing more than a good old fashioned grindhouse comedic horror film and it succeeds.
One could compare it to Shaun of the Dead, a classic in the horror/comedy mold, but this film distinguishes itself as a standout in its own right.
It is bloody, very creative, well written, and genuinely funny. I laughed out loud a lot and wore a smile on my face for most of the film.
Its use of a few classic Christmas songs during some wild proceedings is perfect. The manner in which they are used I will let you discover for yourself. It is quite effective.
The film is enthusiastically directed with low budget flair by co-writer Joe Zerull. He gives the film a great grindhouse look by scratching and underexposing the film. The playfully bloody tone he sets from the beginning is sustained throughout. This looks and feels like a film that would have played in Times Square during the 1970’s.
The cast, populated by the writers and some first timers, is uniformly fine. The best and most fun character being the janitor played to the hilt by Rairdin-Hale. He is covered in blood throughout the film, as he is destined to complete only one mission and that is to kill all the cadavers. Remember, they are not zombies here, as this is called A Cadaver Christmas!
The film is great fun. It is a bloodily comedic low budget grindhouse horror flick that succeeds on all levels.
The film is well shot and edited and the effort this wild bunch put into its making comes across on screen. They bring a level of wild originality and professionalism to the proceedings.
With blood, gore, massive zombie (cadaver) attacks, sexy ladies going topless, a scene of necrophilia, and great action and smart but silly comedy, A Cadaver Christmas is a really good film and a small piece of yuletide horror fun that fans will be pleased to find in their stockings!