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Case Number 13986

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Dead And Gone

Lionsgate // 2007 // 84 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 4th, 2008

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson makes it a rule of life to not buy anything that was built on an Indian burial ground, no matter how attractive the water frontage is.

The Charge

You only think you're alone…

Opening Statement

Here's a tip: it's probably not a good idea to bring your comatose wife to a secluded cabin in the woods, especially one that's rumored to have been built on an Indian burial ground.

Facts of the Case

Jack Wade (Quentin Jones) is desperate. The husband of a one-time famous actress, this guy's hit rock bottom. His wife has succumbed to a coma and her family has cut off his access to her estate, leaving him penniless and, with no marketable skills to seek out gainful employment, bottomed out. So he hauls his wife to the only thing he does own, a crappy cabin he won in a card game.

Some of locals warn him about the place, including "Constable Kate" (Gillian Shire), the attractive redhead who immediately starts scooping out his package. But he doesn't care. He's got nowhere else to go. Of course he should have listened because shortly thereafter, funky @#$% starts to go down. First it's hallucinations, then voices, then his wife magically appears and starts talking trash. This wears the dude down, until he ultimately snaps.

The Evidence

What showed promise of becoming a noteworthy little horror flick, Dead and Gone never quite transcends the crowded field of straight-to-DVD slashers, and will likely float away into the ether. But it's not a total loss and certainly not a failure. As far as dude-slowly-goes-crazy movies go Dead and Gone works okay. Jack is a fairly sympathetic hombre and, as he methodically leaps off of the deep end, I did feel a molecule or two of emotional reaction. I kinda liked him, though this movie isn't geared toward building long-lasting friendships. It's all about the crazy and the bloodshed, and there's an awful lot of both.

The Crazy
When your film relies heavily on one guy going sideways in the head, you can expect a slow burn and that's what you get here. The requirement of a Crazy Dude movie is the gradual losing of the mind, so the build-up is everything. This of course can have adverse effects on the pacing of the story, and if the actor isn't up to the task of carrying the movie himself—which Quentin Jones is asked to do—there's a good chance the thing will implode. The good news is that Jones is indeed up to the task. He's got a strong presence and transforms both physically and emotionally into a strung-out whacko with believable success.

It's the story part that keeps Dead and Gone from really delivering. Not enough happened in the run-up to Wade losing his mind to keep things interesting. His wife shows up, he takes Constable Kate for a walk, his wife shows up again, the idiot grocery delivery boy makes an appearance that merely foreshadows his own inevitable demise, his wife bleeds from the mouth, he vomits, his wife shows up again—and then at about the 60-minute mark, when Wade does lose it, the film picks up the pace and the blood flies…

The Bloodshed
…and fly it does. Using old-school practical effects like pumps, Karo syrup, red food coloring, and fake heads, director Yossi Sasson and his crew soak the final third of the picture in sinew. Hands are cut off, faces are burned, Drano is poured down throats, arms are severed and heads roll, most of which is accompanied by spouting blood geysers. It's this, the payoff to the uphill drive towards Wade's madness, that may attract most gorehounds to what is a decent, if unremarkable, horror effort.

Solid technical specs all around. A crisp 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, supplemented by a good making-of documentary, filmmakers' commentary, deleted scenes, and outtakes.

Closing Statement

Blood and wackiness abound in this better-than-mediocre horror spectacle.

The Verdict

Not Guilty. Now go get yourself on the five dollar, Healthy Saver generic prescription program and score some brain meds.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 85
Audio: 85
Extras: 80
Acting: 70
Story: 80
Judgment: 74

Perp Profile

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Drama
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Making-of Documentary
• Filmmakers' Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Outtakes


• IMDb

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