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on February 16, 2013
Let's begin this movie review with a quick definition of the word "mimesis." The Free Dictionary by Farlex states that "Mimesis" means "the imitation or representation of aspects of the sensible world, especially human actions, in literature and art." Now you don't have to wait for genre legend Sid Haig to explain it to you three-quarters of the way through "Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead."

"Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead" tells the story of a group of fans at a horror convention who are invited to an exclusive after-party. After passing out, each one awakens in the woods outside a farmhouse to find themselves dressed up in different clothing. They soon come to realize that they are pawns in someone's sick re-enactment of "Night of the Living Dead." This time it's not a movie. Its real-life… and people are really dying.

I must say that director / writer Douglas Schulze truly has utilized an interesting concept. Many remakes could save themselves the embarrassment of being inadequate carbon copies if they would take the route "Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead" does with its namesake. Instead of making rehashed updates of iconic films, producers could make a movie about fans of the original who want to act out the events in real life. It could be applied to any horror or slasher movie.

Just picture this: a franchise of films based on the idea. We could have "Mimesis 2: A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Mimesis 3: The Amityville Horror," Mimesis 4: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." The possibilities truly are endless. SyFy Channel or Chiller could even have a weekly "Mimesis" television show. Contestants have to re-live a classic horror film to win prizes and such. I know, this is a review and I'm starting to digress.

Sid Haig ("The Devil's Rejects") is really the only actor in the film who's recognizable in the movie. He plays a horror director who is tired of everyone blaming violence in films for tragic events that happen in real life. I was giddy over a short cameo by Courtney Gains who played Malachai in the original "Children of the Corn." The rest of the cast are basically just victims for the audience to see disposed of in various gory manners.

The audio and video transfers for "Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead" will please viewers. The picture is clean and the colors are satisfying. The 5.1 surround sound mix brings the movie to life with a nice musical score and plenty of eclectic sound effects.

The special features for the Blu-ray version of "Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead" are minimal. We get an audio commentary track with director / co-writer Douglas Schulze and co-writer Joshua Wagner. There has to be footage somewhere of the making of the movie. Why couldn't that be included for everyone to enjoy?

"Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead" isn't a complete failure as entertainment. It addresses the idea of "life imitating art" that we see come up in the news all the time in a clever manner. However, I can't help but feel that "Scream" did it better back in 1996. A lack of any special features isn't going to help convince consumers that this is the horror movie of the week to spend their hard-earned money on.
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on January 7, 2013
It's refreshing to see a film that knows the true meaning of the word "homage" -- something done or given in acknowledgment or consideration of the worth of another -- rather than "rip off," which is something we see far too often in films, especially horror movies.

Douglas Schulze's Mimesis is a clever homage to George Romero's Night of the Living Dead on one hand and a modern "thrill killer" movie on the other. After an opening scare starring Courtney Gaines, the audience is taken to a horror convention where Alphonze Betz (Sid Haig) rails against the media blaming horror movies for real life horrors. In the audience are Russell (Taylor Piedmonte) and his unlikely pal Duane (Allen Maldonado).

Russell is a horror fan while Duane is more keen on meeting some of the hotties at the con including Judith (Lauren Mae Shafer), a goth girl who invites the boys to a party later that night. Thinking he'll get some, Duane convinces Russell to drive out to the spooky farmhouse where they encounter some out-of-place regular people and a number of silent, spooky dudes all made up in makeup. Before the party gets too "dick in the mashed potatoes" crazy, Russell and Duane are down for the count, waking up dressed in different clothes and hanging out in some eerily familiar settings.

There's no "They're coming to get you, Barbara!" line in Mimesis but much of the rest of Night of the Living Dead is there as our protagonists find themselves cast in a living remake of the film, complete with flesh-tearing zombies.

Thus, Mimesis becomes a film with disparate characters trapped in a farmhouse with a menacing presence outside but the presence isn't supernatural, it's psychotic. Additionally, the script by Schulze and Joshua Wagner is incredibly self-aware, playing with and against the plot of NOTLD along with more current films where strangers toy with innocents (Them, Inside, High Tension, etc.).
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Mimesis is an interesting little take on the zombie film that manages to rise above its low budget roots, even if just barely. Two buddies, Russell and Duane are attending a horror convention when they and several other fans are given an invitation to an exclusive after show party at a secluded farmhouse. Duane is all in while Russell whines about having to work but ultimately goes along for the ride. The drinks flow and the two friends, along with five other fans pass out, apparently drugged. When they awake they find they are dressed as characters from the original Night of the Living Dead film. And not only that, but they are being stalked by zombies who quickly take a bite out of Russell when he and Karen wake up in a cemetery in a recreation of the opening scene of the George Romero classic.

Each of the fans shares the first name of the actor who played the role in the film. Duane ends up playing the role of Ben which was played by Duane Jones. Karl is dressed as uptight father Harry (played by Karl Hardman) and so forth. Even the old rundown farmhouse seems to have been recreated. Keith is the horror film expert and tries to figures out their next move as it related to the film and constantly reminds the rest that none of the characters survived in the film. He warns Harry about trying to escape via an old pickup truck noting how the truck exploded in the film.

When Harry ignores Keith the truck indeed explodes but because it was booby-trapped with a bomb. The group quickly realizes that they are part of a deadly game setup by a group of psychotic horror fans who want a more realistic experience and have lured the unsuspecting convention goers into a real life horror film where the death is all-too real.

Mimesis has a fun premise and it's a refreshing change on the usual zombie film but the film runs out of gas about two-thirds of the way through. Once the "zombies" start talking and revealing their plans we realize that these guys are far too stupid to have pulled off this ruse and the film limps to the finish. Still, there have been many far worse zombie films that weren't nearly as ambitious. Sid Haig has a bit role as a guest speaker at the convention. Bill Hinzman, who played the cemetery zombie in the original 1968 Night of the Living Dead has a cameo as a cop in his final screen role. Hinzman passed away in 2012.

Tim Jansn Mania Entertainment
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on February 23, 2013
I love Sid Haig and zombie movies. I thought this would be a great film, but...

The best way to watch this film is not to read the title or any review. The title lets you know that the whole zombie scene is a set up. The film would have been better served if the title and box description didn't give so much away and if the film stayed in character longer. In my opinion this would have been a better film if they would have stolen "Cabin in the Woods" scenario where the zombies would be real under the control of people. The film seemed to end just when it was getting started.

Note: Never eat someone else's bloody body organs raw as there is a bevy of blood borne pathogens out there.

Parental Guide: F-bombs. No sex or nudity. $9.96 Walmart
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on May 25, 2013
The movie has an original spin on the zombie genre, of which I am a huge fan of. It is a decent, but not great flick. Worth checking out if you are a Romero fan, for sure. You may figure out, or at least have suspicion of the twist long before it is revealed. Because of this monumental twist, which I enjoyed, I have no compelling reason to watch this again. I definitely wish I'd have just waited for it to be downloadable instead of buying the DVD ( there is no real benefit to buying this one in Blu Ray - no cinematography worthy of the format ), but the DVD was not expensive, so...

Again, worth a look if you are into the horror genre. I doubt you'll hate it, but it will probably leave you feeling a bit disappointed.
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on November 10, 2014
Mimesis certainly started out on a shaky note. A goth chick meets up with two boys and invites them to a party. When the two boys arrive the party is about as generic as they come. I was worried Mimesis wouldn't offer any fears and would instead of one of countless bland films disguising itself as a horror (and well, you could still probably make the argument that it's not a real horror I suppose, given the nature of the storyline) but then, miraculously, the film gets a LOT better when morning arrives and a select few teens find themselves in the front yard of a country house wearing different clothing and no recollection of the night before.

It's soon realized that there's zombies roaming around, but this is no ordinary script here. The definition of "mimesis" is an imitation and while we're led to believe the zombies are real given they act just like the type of zombies you'd see in all your favorite horror films, these are actually a group of teen actors disguising themselves as zombies looking to enhance the zombie plot and make the deaths real. These "zombies" staged the whole situation involving the teens being stranded. Though I don't think they were technically stranded- couldn't they have driven away in the beginning? If only they'd known better!

Anyway after the one friend dies the other stranded teens enter the nearby farm house and this is where they shall remain for the entirety of the movie. Why? Because there's zombies outside, or rather, actors pretending to be authentic zombies. Even though the teens get bit and actually die, they're not being bitten by real zombies. Strange isn't it? Yes! It's all a sick act and the poor teens don't know any better so they fend for their lives inside the house all day and night.

Mimesis certainly contains a good deal of atmosphere when it's discovered more victims are hiding in the basement, and most of the atmosphere is just fantastic believe it or not because you wonder how long the "zombies" outside are going to remain hiding in anticipation for the innocent teens to finally come out. I was bracing for them to start breaking inside the house at any moment and surprised that it took so long for it to finally happen. Yes my friends, being stuck inside a house fearful to take one step outside is an ideal location for a horror movie if I do say so. Leading up to believe the actors portraying zombies are real zombies is a delightful twist. Though I probably shouldn't have been surprised given the name of the film, but then again who pays attention to movie titles these days anyway? It's all about what the movie is about.

I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised after all. I mean when the zombies die they do so in such an anti-climatic and normal way. Given the surprisingly strong atmosphere up to this point, it's not believable that real zombies would die so easily- they certainly wouldn't been more aggressive. Overall Mimesis does a splendid job delivering on the horror elements. The acting is pretty decent, the characters are okay enough to get the job done, and the zombies themselves... well we have no choice but to believe they did a remarkable job making us fearful of their presence all because we aren't sure who they *really* are until later on. However it's possible once the cat is out of the bag and we find out who the zombies really are, some viewers might not be so thrilled then. It worked for me at least.
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on May 31, 2013
There always have been and always will be low budget movies. They cost little to produce compared to blockbuster pictures and the return on investment is enough to get people to back them up financially for the most part. The problem is that there are some that completely stink and thus return nothing. So when a good one comes along you definitely want to sing praises for it.

Now keep in mind that good lies in the eye of the beholder. With that in mind I whole heartedly recommend MIMESIS. The movie opens with horror geek Russell and his friend Duane at a horror fan convention (from the looks of things it's the Motor City Nightmares Convention). While they listen to director Alfonso Betz (Sid Haig) discuss how people shouldn't blame real life violence on movies, Duane thinks it's a waste of time and would rather be hustling some honeys. The chance, of course, presents itself when a Goth girl approaches them during lunch with a pass to a secret party that night.

The duo arrive at the party and seem to have a good time with the exception that they're drugged and awake the next morning to find themselves dressed in new clothes and placed in a select location. Horror fans will recognize immediately what is going on here between the costumes and location. If you're not a fan be aware SPOILER ALERT. Russell wakes next to a girl he met the night before wearing a black suit, thin black tie and black leather gloves. The girl has her blonde hair in a scarf and is wearing a green dress and light beige coat. Their location? A graveyard. Yes this is a recreation of THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.

But not really. Instead each person who was drugged the night before has taken on a role from that movie. Duane is the hero of the film, two parents and their child star prodigy have taken on the roles of the family from the film, a friend is now the teenage boy and the goth girl his girlfriend. Each of these wakes from their drugged sleep to encounter what appear to be zombies chasing them. When one is killed in front of the others and gnawed on they begin to wonder is this real or something else?

You should be able to quickly figure out what is happening here but I won't reveal just in case. Suffice to say that it makes for an entertaining and original concept here. Just who are the bad guys and why are they doing this? Are these really zombies? Is all of this just a bad dream? Watch and see.

A nice touch here is the tribute to the original film that is hidden beneath the obvious re-creating of the whole movie by this group forced to play out their roles. This tribute lies in the names of the characters here. Each one is based on either a character or an actor from the original film. A nice touch that again fans will notice immediately.

It's apparent that this movie was made on a shoestring budget but that never seems to get in the way of things. Sure the acting isn't Oscar worthy but the cast does a great job and display the potential to go further. The effects aren't so far over the top as to be unbelievable and the photography is well done and used for effect often.

While MIMESIS may not go down in history as the greatest horror film or even the greatest tribute to a horror film it does offer the goods sought out by fans. It even makes the fans the central characters in both good and bad guy roles. This is one of those movies that would make a great double feature fun fest on any Friday night party.
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on February 18, 2013
A group of seven horror fans find themselves unwilling participants in a role playing game that pays homage to the classic horror film, Night of The Living Dead. Why watch a horror film when you can live one? The only thing is you're living one with deadly results.

I was quite surprised with film, actually. I was figuring the movie would be a blatant rip-off of Night of the Living Dead but, as another reviewer pointed out, it's a clever homage to the cult classic. It was quite refreshing to see a new take on the story, honestly. There wasn't a dull or boring moment in this film. The scares ran at a good even pace.

What I liked most about this film is how it could open up the possibilities for other movies and whatnot. Again, like another reviewer here pointed out, there's tons of other movies that they could throw their spin on, without coming across as a rip-off of that particular series. They'd have to get the okay from that respective series' owner, of course, but think of how much it'd bring those series back into focus with new fans as well as old.

That being said, all I can say is I love this movie. I hope we see more from Director/Writer Douglas Schulze. Zombie fans will want to add this one to their collection, I assure you.
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on May 26, 2014
I gave this movie three stars just for the effort. The way I see it, you mean to tell me not one of these people had a cell phone? They didn't think of pulling one of the lowlifes into the house and threaten his/her life if they didn't start talking? I got a kick out of this movie just for the sill way it went down, but there were just too many flaws in the plot. Of course those in the house wouldn't fine a rifle. Good premise, but just didn't make it.
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on January 31, 2013
A handful of Horror fans are invited to an exclusive party at a remote farmhouse, but when they awaken from a drug-induced slumber, they find that they have entered their own real-life Horror movie as zombies descend upon them in a terrifying and deadly realization of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD! Is this all part of some elaborate hoax, or is life imitating art in some twisted form of MIMESIS? If you can imagine watching a group of rank amateurs attempting to remake NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD with shoddy make-up, computerized blood, awful editing, and an untalented cast, you would be half-way to experiencing MIMESIS without having wasted an hour-and-a-half of your life. The groanworthy performances make it difficult to endure even the opening act, but it isn't until after the first zombie attack that audiences can be sure of director Douglas Schulze's complete incompetence. The zombies look like they have wandered off of some two-bit haunted house, and during each attack, the camera becomes shaky and disorienting as animated blood sprays the screen. Schulze paints Horror fans as either geeky losers or homicidal maniacs in a surefire attempt to alienate his target audience. Not only is the timing of the film in poor taste given the recent tragedies in Colorado and Connecticut, but the obvious message is beaten over our heads repeatedly as if we were too stupid to figure it out for ourselves. MIMESIS is a crime against humanity, and nowhere near as fun as its premise entails.

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
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