Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Night of the Living Dorks" AKA "Die Nacht der lebenden Loser"

Writer and director Mathias Dinter’s Night of the Living Dorks may be a
German flick, but it may have more familiarity with the American audience
rather than its native youth. In an international boom of horror genre parodies
since the success of UK’s Shaun of the Dead, this just feels more like a teen
sex comedy than another zombie flick.

Phillip (Tino Mewes) and his two friends Wurst and Konrad (Samuel Cortez
and Thomas Schmieder) are the unpopular kids in their school, and are
constantly picked on by the elite, upper-class popular people. After
witnessing a voodoo ritual in a cemetery performed by Phillip’s next-door
neighbor Rebecca (Collien Fernandes), the trio crashes their car while
under the influence of marijuana. This of course, turns them into zombies
and they have to figure out a way to fix it while at the same time taking
revenge on those that have wronged them.

While Night of the Living Dorks is a self-proclaimed zombie spoof, it
plays as more of an American sex teen comedy than anything. The
conventional characters of the teen flick are there (the girl next door,
the popular girl that the protagonist pines after, the upper-class jock
nemesis, the wise-cracking side kick, the parents leaving the house in
their son’s care, etc.), and a Revenge of the Nerds-type influence on the
plot is more than obvious. Besides being an essentially bloodless movie,
it does little to poke fun at zombie films. In fact, the ‘zomie’ as we
know it actually very skewed here, as there is apparently an antidote to
reverse it, and those unlucky ones turned into zombies can live among
humans. All they have to do is eat a lot of raw meat, raid a blood bank,
and learn to suppress the urge to bite an ass or two.

Night of the Living Dorks isn’t all that bad, however. Even though it’s
just like every other National Lampoons teen sex romp we’ve seen before,
it’s actually funny. Instead of focusing on making as many references to
teen culture as possible, it’s just flat-out silly and entertaining, with
the dialogue being consistently perverted and goofy. The biggest flaw is
the fact that Night of the Living Dorks seems too American. A German
flick that makes references to Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson’s Thriller,
and Casablanca really doesn’t come off as too German to me.

If you’re looking for formulaic yet goofy and entertaining time, then this
is for you. But if you enjoy foreign films and/or horror genre spoofs,
this most likely won’t be your cup of tea.

2 stars/4

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