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Dead Weight

3 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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(Jan 21, 2014)
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Editorial Reviews

In the wake of an apocalyptic viral outbreak, Charlie Russell (Joe Belknap) treks through the wilderness to reunite with his girlfriend, Samantha (Mary Lindberg). As Charlie's journey brings him closer to his destination of Wausau, WI, he must face physical exhaustion, malicious survivors, and perhaps most menacing, his own emotional burdens. Haunted by visions of the past that can never be recaptured, he becomes as great a danger to himself as the infected. With his newfound traveling companions, Charlie must attempt to break his obsession with the past. He must learn to let it go.

Product Details

  • Actors: Joe Belknap, Michelle Courvais
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: January 21, 2014
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CBVWX6A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,619 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I was lucky enough to see this movie back in 2012 and review it or my website, back before it got distribution. This is an amazing movie, but it's really a semi-romantic drama and thriller, that happens to be set in a world with zombies. This is NOT a MOVIE about ZOMBIES! They are anecdotal to the plot. It is about how far people go when the situation demands it, how far they go when pushed, and really about how much more horrible people can be than the horrors around them. DON'T BELIEVE THE COVER ART, this is not your average zombie movie! What it is, is a great, heart-wrenching drama character study. With the ever-present threat of zombies. You can read my full review here if you want more detail: [...] but in the mean time, this is an amazingly well made, well acted drama from some talented filmmakers and worth your time (as long as you're not looking for boobs/gore/head crushings/zombie hoards... there are a ton of other movies with similar cover art that will provide that.)
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Format: DVD
There's so much zombie product out there these days that treats the end of the world as one big party, one big cathartic rave with murder as entertainment. I like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland as much as the next guy, but less than clever attempts at recycling their magic has found my interest in the Zombie genre eroding.

After hearing strong praise about Dead Weight on the festival circuit by those "in the know," I finally got a chance to see it and I'm glad I did. Less of a zombie film and more of a horror drama, Dead Weight is a film that swims against the current. Taking place amidst the beautifully desolate landscape of a Minnesota winter, Dead Weight marks new territory, making its own path, with a slow, creeping sense of dread that trails all the way back to the original Night of the Living Dead. Characters are given dimension here. The importance of the group is stressed. Society is still necessary, especially in the apocalypse where survival hinges upon what you can bring to the group and what the group can provide for you. Dynamics not usually explored in most direct-to-video zombie films these days. While relieved, at times, by the occasional dark bit of humor, it's this Grapes of Wrath style perspective culminating in a climatically brutal loss that makes Dead Weight a standout in the genre. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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Format: DVD
Charlie (Joe Belknap) is traveling through the wilderness to find his girlfriend, Samantha (Mary Lindberg), after civilization is destroyed by widespread biological attacks. He must try to survive while dealing with other survivors and his own emotional burdens.

The post-apocalyptic world is a well-trod staple of the horror genre. Some would say, not without good reason, that it has been trod just a few too many times. But "Dead Weight" succeeds with this theme by making it the background rather than the foreground of the story. This is, in fact, a romance story disguised as horror, adding an emotional level that most horror films lack.

The sheer level of acting talent going into this production is remarkable. Some of those involved are professionals, who spend their every waking moment acting. Some (in fact, most) are amateurs, making their theatrical debut here. And with one or two easily overlooked exceptions, all the performances come across as strong and bold. I have seen my fair share of independent films, and this one takes talent to the next level.

Directing and cinematography are top notch. A few shots seem inspired by some of the better directors out there, or even bad directors (M. Night Shyamalan) when they were at their peak. I have lived in Wisconsin for three decades and have hardly thought of it as beautiful, but the camera has brought out the best and the bleakest that winter has to offer, depending on what the scene called for. I am told that due to snow one scene had to be moved from a field to a barn, but this turned out to be a stroke of good luck -- the scene in question is among the most ominous in the film, and a field would be more difficult to capture the angles and shadows needed for the terror that ensues.
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1 Comment 9 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This is a pretty great character driven film that really is about the most terrifying monster during a Zombie Apocalypse or frankly any sort of disaster - humans. Let me address the two problems most mentioned in the really pointless 1 star reviews on here -

1. The acting.
Yes there are a few actors that are first timers and it shows in their scenes but that just isn't the case for the most part. Charlie, played by Joe Belknap, portrays his role perfectly. He's hanging onto personal issues that are creating inner turmoil that prevents him from doing the right thing throughout. That's not the easiest role to play with the subtlety of emotional switches and Joe pulls that off. Aaron Christensen and Michelle Courvais as Thomas and Meredith respectively, are on the other hand seasoned actors and they nearly steal the show as riveting side characters that truly help guide the direction of the film.

2. Not enough happens/there are no zombies.
If you're looking for a creature feature, yeah you'll be disappointed. Blame the idiot distributors for changing the cover art to portray something completely different than the story for this one.

The thing is, stuff DOES happen. It's NOT about a zombie overrun. You've SEEN that a million times. Go pick up some Romero or something if that's what you want. This is about people. How they react to such an event and how their own personal demons can play a major role in whether they survive or not. It IS a slow burner, but for all of the right reasons. The editing (award winning from the 2012 Elvira's Horror Hunt/HorrorHound Weekend Awards) puts you back in Charlie's head, thinking about his relationship with Samantha and how he got into the mess he's in when you're watching... but the slow burn makes sense.
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