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Friday, November 26, 2010

Dead Air Movie Review

David Brown

Dead Air had a long development history, it was originally slated to be released in late 2007, but many things pushed it back to 2009. The film released October 27, 2009 is written by Kenneth Yakkei and directed by Corbin Bernsen, who many know from his various roles on many TV series including Psych. Bill Moseley leads the cast in this great movie.

The plot revolves around Moseley, who plays a disillusioned radio shock shock, Logan. He runs a radio show with his crew that reaches a million listeners each time it is on. The opening shows a group of men setting up some sort of device under a crowded stadium during a basketball game in one of the ventilation rooms for the stadium. This device contains a container filled with a weird gas. This gas, we find out, causes anybody exposed to it to go crazy with rage. I know when I say rage, many will think of 28 Days, and 28 Weeks Later, and you are right in doing so. This is a man-made creation, but this is where the similarities stop.

Without going into many details I will just say, that the movie follows Logan as he and his team progress from hosting a show centered around the topic of paranoia, to a crew struggling to find the truth within many frenzied calls from listeners, and the news. The thing that makes this movie to me is Moseley and his great performance. He portrays a Los Angeles shock jock in true fashion. He oozes cynicism and disdain for the “idiots” and the “paranoid” who call his show to talk. He is quick to shoot down everything as lies or pure speculation and paranoia.

When the inevitable happens we see a true character change as he tries to reach his wife and daughter. A good question that is asked of movies in this genre is how the zombies hold up. The thing with this movie is that we do not get the traditional Romero zombies here, we get the fast moving, ravenous zombies from movies like 28 Days Later. The zombies are not dead, but infected with a deadly virus, causing them to attack others and ooze blood from their eyes. It does look a bit underutilized, but the tense lighting and close shots do wonders to hide the downfalls.

I cannot say too much more without spoiling major parts of the film, but this film does a good job of showing the zombie/disease apocalypse from the point of view of the common man. This certainly is not an original idea, as the shock jock view has been shown before, but this movie does show how underutilized Bill Moseley can be as an actor, and how much he truly shines when given the chance and proper platform. If you are expecting decaying zombies and buckets of gore, then you are in the mood for a good “zombie” movie with some decent social commentary then look no further than Dead Air. Listen to this broadcast message and follow the instructions and you will not be disappointed.

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