First off I have to state that this was five dollars well spent. I picked this film off the shelf used and on sale on a whim. Boy am I glad that I did. Dead & Breakfast is a horror, comedy, musical, for those that pay attention should know that maybe my favorite blend of genres. Dead & Breakfast also hosts a large number of actors who are not unknown to me, such as David Carradine, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Diedrich Bader and Bianca Lawson to name a few off the top of my head.
Dead & Breakfast follows a group of friends consisting of Christian (Jeremy Sisto), David (Erik Palllandio), Kate (Bianca Lawson), Johnny (Oz Perkins), Sara (Ever Carradine) and Melody (Gina Philips) who are all on their way to their friend’s wedding when they get lost and forced to find shelter for the night. They pull into the small one gas station town of Lovelock and are forced to stay at the local bed and breakfast as it’s the only place in town. The group meet the bed and breakfast’s french cook Henri (Diedrich Bader), insulting him and getting off on the wrong foot. Henri introduces the group the bed and breakfast’s owner Mr. Wise (David Carradine). As it turns out the bed and breakfast is empty, so Mr. Wise is able to accommodate the entire group. That night the group find Henri murdered and Mr. Wong dies shortly after the discovery of a heart attack. David fetches the local Sheriff (Jeffery Dean Morgan) and his deputy, who arrive in the morning. The Sheriff tells the group to remain in town while the investigation is active and takes a drifter (Brent David Fraser) into custody under suspicion as he was found sneaking around the property. The drifter warns of an ancient box that Sara remembers Mr. Wise owning. She rushes back to the house, but is too late as Johnny unwitting opens the box and becomes possessed by the evil spirit it contained. The newly possessed Johnny goes on a killing spree using the box to turn the victims into zombies. Trapped in Lovelock the remaining friends along with sheriff become forced to fend off the growing tide of undead while with the drifters aid search for a solution.
So, the musical attributes of this film are a little subdued sadly with Randall Keith Randall (Zachariah Selwyn) singing about what’s happening during transitions. Which works very well for the feel of the film, but I would have enjoyed seeing some of the other members of the cast singing. But that said, all the songs are very catchy and are equally memorable.
If you enjoy gore than look no further as this film’s later acts are swimming with it. You can see the influence Dead Alive had on the film beyond the reuse of the slipping on blood gag. The film also has not so subtle nods to Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 with the posters prominent in the background in a number of shots. The film also references Thriller with the zombies doing the dance, so expect a higher dose of comedy than horror here.
Final thoughts, I really liked it. The acting is better than I thought it would be going in and being completely unaware it was a “musical” I was even more surprised. I was upset that David Carradine had such a small role and would have liked to see more of him, but Jeffery Dean Morgan aka Papa Winchester does have a very substantial role and that more than made up for it in my book. So while the comic elements do go a bit over the top, as well as some poor writing at times the sheer fun of this film makes it worth the watch. I would readily recommend this film to anyone who enjoys their horror mixed with some light heart humor and memorable tunes. So Dead & Breakfast gets a surprising 7.5/10.