Hey folks, Valkor here. Whenever I start to tackle a film review, there's a few things I need to do to prepare myself – 1) have pencil and paper ready, 2) snack and beverage, and 3) have someplace cozy to sit. In the case of this latest film, "Woke Up Dead" (based off of a web series), I find myself needing one additional item – a pillow! Why? Because this film is downright boring!
Woke Up Dead stars John Heder as Drex, a guy who after a night out with his best friend Matt (Josh Gad), finds his then girlfriend Debbie (Taryn Southern) sleeping with another guy. Drexs runs off, goes home, falls asleep in some water and wakes up… dead. His friend Matt flat out calls him a zombie, but he doesn't begin to believe it… even after he tastes and enjoys the taste of brains (calves brains). Drex enlists the help of Cassie (Krysten Ritter, "How To make Love To A Woman") who is attempting to help him figure out what's going on inside of him, while friend Matt merely wants to exploit his death on a documentary (and website aptly titled Woke Up Dead). But Drex's death doesn't go unnoticed, as a guy simply known as "Shadowman" (Daniel Roebuck) is hot on his heels. He states he's been waiting 20 years for something like this to happen and now it's time to act. Are there are other walk dead out there other than Drex? Enter Aurora (Meital Dohan) who helps Drex realize his true potential such as super healing and the ability to dodge bullets. And finally there's mom Meryl (Jean Smart, Hero Wanted), who comes to him at the end of it all to state she knows what's really going on. And with that it's "To Be Continued…"
Is it a comedy? Is it a horror? Is it a mix of both? I'll tell you what it is – it's 1hr and 23 minutes I'll never ever see again.
The idea of a guy waking up dead, having all these abilities actually doesn't sound all that bad; actually it's kind of unique and by all thoughts and purposes should have made a wonderful film. So I like the idea. For a film that's supposed to be a comedy, it doesn't become funny until Aurora shows up and she starts showing Drex what he can do. That's when I started to chuckle, but it didn't last long. The acting is hit and miss, Krysten Ritter is a definite hit with me as well as Wayne Knight who makes a deliciously funny (especially since this film is so unfunny) appearance. But Jean Smart… mmmm… me likey some Jean Smart. Yea she's only in the film a few minutes but what the hell.
Woke Up Dead is the sort of film where after an hour in, you start getting pissed off a) because it's not funny and b) nothing of significance happens. I think this film works better as a web series rather than an actual film, because it's all over the place. As a web series, sure you can get away with this because you can eventually patch it up, but as a direct narrative, it just doesn't work. The parts that interested me more, Drex realizing he has these amazing abilities, doesn't happen until later in the film when I wish he could have done that sooner. Sure he knows he has some abilities such as that special vision and super speed (to get through his work quicker), but he has other abilities too that could have been use of earlier on rather than later.
I don't know if it's just me… but I kinda wanna pull Krysten Ritters hair, because it doesn't look real. I mean I'm sure it ism but I looking at it… it looks like a wig and I wanna see if it comes off or not.
Woke Up Dead is better off dead and not really worth anyone's time. Though if you must give it a shot because you like Zombies and you enjoy Heder's work, then definitely a rental first. But as for me, I'm giving Woke up Dead 1.5 stars.