Gangs Of The Dead

Crimes:

• Creating a "black drug dealers vs. Hispanic drug dealers vs. bloodthirsty zombies" scenario that plays out a little like Hollywood Shuffle's "Attack Of The Street Pimps"

• Briefly existing under the far less cool title Last Rites

• Not only setting the action in an abandoned warehouse, but actually boasting on the DVD case that the movie takes place in an abandoned warehouse

Defender: Director Duane Stinnett and co-writer/producer Krissann Shipley

Tone of commentary: Dryly explanatory. Roughly every five minutes, Stinnett offers advice "for aspiring filmmakers," and even though the sound of ice clinking in whiskey glasses is openly audible in the background of the tracks—"We're partying right now," Shipley explains—the only time the partners show any strong emotion is when they complain about how their equipment-rental company screwed them over.

What went wrong: Nearly every "for aspiring filmmakers" is followed by cautionary tales which get increasingly hilarious, especially delivered in Stinnett's earnest monotone. They shot some scenes handheld because their tripods didn't work. They didn't watch any dailies until the shoot was over, and thus didn't realize they had a weird shadow in one scene. They cast older extras to play the zombies because they looked better, but then found that the old people had never seen any zombie films, and didn't know how to walk right. Nevertheless, Stinnett says of one dramatic scene, "This one is going onto my director's reel."

Comments on the cast: Stinnett liked everybody he worked with, and hopes he can cast them again someday. "I don't mind being one of those directors that has an ensemble," he says hopefully.

Inevitable dash of pretension: Stinnett on an improvised dialogue scene: "It's a little Pulp Fiction the way it plays out, but I told the editor to let it play." On a gathering of street people: "I kind of envisioned this sequence as being my ode to Terry Gilliam."

Commentary in a nutshell: Stinnett admits he watched a lot of gangster movies to get the slang right. "I don't know what punto means. I'm a white guy."

Filed Under: DVD

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