Dead review – stoner serial-killer comedy runs out of puff | Film

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The ghost of a cop refuses to pass to the other side until he catches the serial killer responsible for his murder in this cheerfully silly low-budget comedy horror from New Zealand. It doesn’t quite pull it off as a spoofy send-up – there are too few laughs and no scares. But director Hayden J Weal (he was Martin Freeman’s body double in all three Hobbit films) gives a well-tuned comic performance as the policeman, appearing at first glance to be standard-issue ramrod cop but actually more interesting and far sweeter.

Weal plays officer Jason Tagg, who was stabbed to death in the line of duty while giving chase to a hoodie-wearing masked serial killer – he is victim No 7. While jumping over a fence in pursuit, Tagg’s police-issue trousers were ripped clean off. So in death he walks around wearing pink underpants. His only hope of bringing his killer to justice is a clueless stoner called Marbles (Thomas Sainsbury), who has accidentally discovered a way to see ghosts: his technique involves injecting himself with a cocktail of neurological medication and marijuana.

Marbles may be low-wattage in the brains department but links all the victims to a gay club. He’s meant to be a sweet-hearted saddo, but co-writer Sainsbury plays it too creepily – all nervous giggles and facial tics. In fact, none of the characters amount to much more than a few character quirks bundled together. And Dead loses its way completely in the last 30 minutes, when the plot takes a turn for the mega bonkers – either the writers have consumed a large quantity of Marble’s trippy formula or have simply run out of decent ideas to stretch their sitcommy idea into a 90-minute film.

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Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Dead review – stoner serial-killer comedy runs out of puff | Film

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