A Horror Hoot
Bed & Breakfast is the first thing we see flashed on screen, but immediately after that, the word “Dead,” written in a blood-red color, splashes over Bed. Clearly, the title is really Dead & Breakfast instead. A clever way to get started, isn’t it? Fortunately, this little independent horror movie also serves up similar creativity and campiness almost from beginning to end. It’s a hoot!
The story seems traditional enough. Six friends are traveling together to a wedding when they stop to stay for the night at a sinister inn in a creepy Texas town. After opening a mysterious object, one member of the group (Oz Perkins) turns into a violent ghoul. Before long, the ghoulish creatures outnumber the town’s living inhabitants. If this sounds a bit like zombie/ghoul movies you’ve seen before, you’re on the right track. But this one also features surprising musical numbers. (Think Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Shaun of the Dead.)
I thoroughly enjoyed the music in Dead & Breakfast. Zach Selwyn adds a hokey charm to the proceedings by singing country rap introductions which serve as segues to each major section of the film. In addition, there’s a weird song and dance routine by a chorus of ghouls that rivals Rocky Horror’s “Time Warp” for nonsensical fun.
Among the strong ensemble cast, Ever Carradine (My Boss’s Daughter) and Oz Perkins (Legally Blonde) stand out. Reminiscent of Uma Thurman in the Kill Bill movies, Carradine projects both emotional and physical strength as her character fends off a veritable army of ghouls. Perkins, looking as innocent as a newborn babe, is a riot in scenes showing him using heads like hand puppets. Amusing cameos by Ever’s uncle David and Diedrich Bader (Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous) as the B&B owner and his French chef also deserve special mention.
Writer/director Matthew Leutwyler (Road Kill) soaks Dead & Breakfast in outrageous gore from decapitations, stabbings, chainsaw attacks, removal of various body parts and so forth. Although most fans of horror films will probably applaud this over-the-top approach, I found the bloody carnage a bit too much in a few sequences. That’s my only complaint about this horror gem.
DVD bonus features include: audio commentaries by filmmaker Leutwyler, special effects supervisor Michael Mosher, and actors Erik Palladino, Zach Selwyn, Ever Carradine, Oz Perkins and Jeffrey Dean Morgan; deleted and extended scenes; bloopers; trailers; and a poster/still gallery.
(Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment and rated “R” for strong horror violence/gore and language. Unrated version also available.)