33 Days of Fright Night: Deader The Better

TDTB-cover-WEBJust like Zombieboy the movie that I have chosen today is a unique case where it was not released by a major studio. Instead this was shot by a young James Rolfe years before he would create the beloved Angry Video Game Nerd series. Many of you know of his love for nostalgic video games. How many of you know about his passion for classic horror movies? Many of your and my favorite web critics wouldn’t be around today without James Rolfe. I found it only fitting to cover a comedic horror that he created himself.

Deader The Better is about a pair of cemetery grounds keepers whose job it is to take care of the zombies that rise from the grave each night and rebury the bodies before people arrive in the morning. The majority of the film was shot in James’ parents garage but due to some classic lighting techniques and creative use of fog it appears to have been filmed at an actual cemetery. The movie took James a few years to complete. At the time this was his most elaborate shoot. The movie was shot as a homage to the classic horror films: from the golden Universal era all the way to the zombie films of the 70′ and 80’s. James took extra care when picking the sound track, using a lot of stock music that would have felt right at home in any Bela Lugosi film.

The sound effects and gore are exaggerated helping the film tie in with the gorier movies of the 80’s. The more grotesque sound effects will sound familiar to fans of AVGN as they appear to have been used in some of the episodes. This unique style of film making allows the film to obtain an old meets new quality.

This film does a great job showing how much passion James has for a genre forgotten by many or relegated to the bargain bin by some. I for one hope that James’ AVGN movie is a huge success so we can see what other horror films his mind can dream up. To end this review I wish to use a quote by James which he wrote to describe this film:

“Classic-style horror film I made in 2005 as an homage to the Universal Monster classics and zombie films like Night of the Living Dead. My idea was to combine the old Black & White atmosphere with the red splattery gore of modern horror films, so I decided to make the blood in color.

The cemetery set was in a garage. I built all the gravestones. In horror movies, the caretaker is usually the first character to die. (The Wolf Man, 1941, for example) A cemetery being in the #1 setting where supernatural things occur, he is kind of stuck in a trap. My idea for The Deader the Better is that this is the movie where the caretaker fights back.

The idea of colorizing the blood came from indecision. I wanted to capture the look of the classic black and white horror films, but I also wanted to show some blood. So I kept the blood red. Also, as a kid, I used to draw gory comics. I’d use a pen or pencil, but would use a red crayon to color in the blood.

This was the last “film” I made before AVGN. It stands as an example of some of the horror films I plan to make in the future on a bigger scale.”
-James Rolfe

I hope you all enjoy the film in it’s entirety below. As previously mentioned all rights of this film belong to Cinnemassacre and James Rolfe.

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