The Dead and the Damned (2011)

  • Year: 2011
  • Released: 26 Jul 2011
  • Country: USA
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  • IMDb:
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  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: R
  • Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Western
  • Runtime: 82 min
  • Writer: Rene Perez
  • Director: Rene Perez
  • Cast: David A. Lockhart, Camille Montgomery, Rick Mora, Robert Amstler
  • Keywords: california, mutant, gold rush, meteor, 19th century,
6% – Critics
6% – Audience

The Dead and the Damned Storyline

California gold rush, late 1800’s: A gun slinging bounty hunter (Mortimer) travels deep into the mountains to find a deadly Apache warrior (Brother Wolf) who is wanted by the law. Along the way he passes through a gold mining Town. The miners help direct Mortimer to the Apache and send him on his way. Mortimer enters the forest and begins to track the Apache. Back in town, the miners un-earth an ancient meteor. They use their pick axes to crack it open. A section of the meteor splits apart and spores explode out of it. The spore surround and infect the entire population of the mining camp. They are transformed into ravenous mutants. After a vicious battle against the Apache warrior, Mortimer exits the forest with his prisoner in shackles. They hike back to the mining town to find them selves surrounded by a horde of blood thirsty mutants. Now Mortimer the gun slinger and Brother Wolf the Warrior must join together to survive the mutant hordes. What ensues is a bloodbath of horror for the Dead and the Damned.

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The Dead and the Damned Movie Reviews

Cheap mediocre cash in

This is a very cheesy film that seems to have had a name change to cash on in on the Cowboys and Aliens summer blockbuster release. It was originally called the Dead and the Damned but I think the name change suits this low-budget zombie film

We meet our hero right in the middle of a gunfight that looks as convincing as any Wild West Show. Our hero is bounty hunter Mortimer (David A. Lockhart) and he is desperate for cash ( I have to confess that Mortimer’s soft high voice did cause a giggle when I first heard it). The clerk paying him for delivering his latest catch tells him about a large bounty for an Indian (Rick Mora) who has been accused of rape and murder is wanted alive. The authorities know where he is but other bounty hunters who went after him never came back.

Mortimer heads to Jamestown, a prospecting town in the California mountains. There he finds out where the Indian is and then our hero buys a woman called Rhiannon (Camille Montgomery) from a sleazy guy selling women on the street. So far and no sign of zombies but that changes soon.

We next see a women washing herself topless outside and Jebediah is leering at her from behind some bushes. He gets caught when his father calls for help with something he has just dug up. It is a strange spherical rock with slits in its side and a glowing green core. They load it on a wheelbarrow and wheel it to Jamestown. Once the whole town has gathered round to look at the rock Jebediah’s father starts whacking it with shovel. Green spores pour out of the slits and covers everyone gathered around. Naturally it is these spores which turn people into mindless flesh-eating zombies.

Meanwhile Mortimer and Rhiannon get the top of the mountain and look down on an amazing sea of cloud stretching out below them. Mortimer ties Rhiannon to a stake in the ground as bait for the Indian, while he hides in a tree and plays with his gun before going to sleep. But the Indian is not the sex mad crazy we’d been led to believe and he sneaks down, steals the bullets from the gun of the sleeping dweeb and cuts Rhiannon free with his axe. After a fist fight which Mortimer only wins by pulling a dinky little girly Derringer from his boot the Indian gets captured.

You can guess that it’s not too long before they all have to work together when they discover that woods are full of zombies. One thing the two men don’t do very well is keeping the unarmed Rhiannon safe from harm and every time Rhiannon is left on her own she gets attacked by a zombie. Mortimer may express guilt about putting her in danger but that doesn’t mean he does anything useful about it. There is one part were they get back to Jamestown and they make themselves safe inside the saloon because the windows have been boarded up. While that is true they seem to neglect that the saloon has saloon doors which don’t do much to stop zombies. There’s a German bounty hunter prowling around the area too but he does nothing useful and his character just seemed pointless.

The film is not totally terrible but it is full of lazy clichés. It’s watchable if you think you can bear another low-budget zombie film.

Rating 5/10

It could have been far worse…

Initially just by the DVD cover alone you know what kind of movies you will be in for when you pick up this movie. But still, being the zombie aficionado that I am, I just had to watch it regardless.

The story in “The Dead and the Damned” or “Cowboys & Zombies” as it is titled on the DVD cover and in the actual movie, is some prospectors uncover what appears to be a meteor and brings it into town, attempts to crack it open and something green spews out. This green haze turns the prospectors into, yeah you guessed it, zombies! However, this puzzled me, because in a very short time the prospectors were quite decayed and decomposed, but still they remained their agility and ability to jump, run, sprint and do acrobatics.

However, the movie actually have good production and good cinematography and that shines through the movie and actually makes it worth sitting through.

The zombies, well I prefer shambling zombies that are unable of running and zombies that doesn’t sound like marauding lions from the sound they make. That was a real bummer in the movie. The zombies also had that classic, low-budget-way-too-gray make-up on their faces, and for some reason their blood was green. And I just loved how the blood would spray up into the air whenever a zombie was shot, and then the blood simply just dissipated into thin air. That was just hilarious.

Effects-wise, then “Cowboys & Zombies” wasn’t actually too shabby. The zombies, aside from the lame sounds and the gray-skin, actually looked decent enough and the effects were alright. The setting of the movie was also quite good and believable, aside from the poor choice of music, which seemed really unsuitable for a horror western.

I have sat through a lot of low-budget zombies movies in my time, and “Cowboys & Zombies” is actually on the better end of the scale of low-budget zombie movies. There are a lot of zombie movies out there far worse than this one.

And what was up with the guy on the DVD cover? I don’t believe I even saw him in the movie! Epic!

Mixing cowboys/westerns and zombies have been done before. And in my personal opinion, it is not really the best of combinations. That period of time just doesn’t work well with the living dead.

There’s gore in them thar hills!

After a pair of miners crack open a strange meteor, alien spores infect the townsfolk of a small mining community, turning them into ravenous zombies. High-pitched bounty hunter Mortimer (David A. Lockhart), noble Indian brave Brother Wolf (Rick Mora) and winsome wench Rhiannon (Camille Montgomery) attempt to escape the area before becoming zombie chow.

Originally called The Dead and the Damned, this was retitled as Cowboys & Zombies for its DVD release, no doubt in a desperate attempt to associate itself with recent Hollywood blockbuster Cowboys & Aliens. Those dumb enough to confuse the two films should count themselves lucky, though: its budget might have been a fraction of the Daniel Craig/Harrison Ford movie, but Cowboys & Zombies actually proves to be the marginally more enjoyable effort.

Unlike Cowboys & Aliens, which given its huge budget and A-list talent was a huge disappointment, Cowboys & Zombies actually lives up to expectations ie., it’s a poorly acted, shot on a shoestring, goofy B-movie horror that hasn’t a clue what to do with its initial premise (the film meanders aimlessly before ending abruptly) but it at least manages to deliver blood, guts, zombies, and good looking, big breasted gals shedding their clothes, which is better than 118 minutes and $163 million worth of dreary, poorly written, CGI enhanced drivel in my book.