REVIEW: Night of the Living Deb (2015)

I’m a sucker for any movie that is filmed locally, so I sat down last night to enjoy Night of the Living Deb, a fairly recently-released movie by director Kyle Rankin, which was filmed in the seacoast town of Portland, Maine, located only about 45 minutes from me. As it is an old stomping grounds of mine, it excites me to watch a movie where I can pinpoint locations (I’ve been there!) Okay, so call me weird, it’s just fun.

I was delighted to find, though, that I actually throughly enjoyed the hell out of this movie. Deb tells the story of, well, Deb, who hooks up with “the hottest guy in Portland, Maine” after a night of drinking, and wakes up the next morning to find the town overrun by zombies. It’s equal parts Night of the Living Dead and Shaun of the Dead, with a dash of romantic comedy thrown in for good measure.

Story wise, it’s just another road-trip zombie movie, but comedy-wise, it’s much more. Maria Thayer plays Deb, a camerawoman for a local TV news station, and her character is great. Sarcastic and hilarious, Thayer plays Deb as the lovable neighborhood girl you always see on the street, but you feel might be too crazy to strike up a conversation with. Her zany delivery of the very clever script is balanced perfectly by Ryan (Michael Cassidy, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice) whose deadpan comebacks and shutdowns are hilarious.

The pair really do make for great on-screen romantic partners. Rounding out the cast include Chris Marquette (Freddy Versus Jason) as Ryan’s oddball brother Chaz and Ray Wise (Robocop, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me) as their father, Frank. Everyone is so good, and so hilarious throughout the entire film. A top-notch cast of characters.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a zombie movie without some blood, and all the zombies look great.
They’re “modern” running zombies (and a great gag about slow-walking ‘palsy zombies’ had me rolling), and the make-up FX was actually quite good. There isn’t much in the way of extra grisly images, as much of the gore and zombie-violence is played for laughs (kids eating a neighbor! Electrocuting the sweet granny of a neighbor!), but what their is makes great use of practical FX.

All-in-all, I am extremely happy with making the decision to check this film out. I hadn’t heard much about it before settling in to watch, but I’m glad that I did. Night of the Living Deb is easily cult material…especially if you’re a zombie movie fan from Maine.

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