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Night of the Flesh Eaters (2008)

Night of the
Flesh Eaters


Originally, the title of George Romero's 1968 classic film Night of the Living Dead was going to be Night of the Flesh Eaters.  Before the film was released, there was a conflict with another film by the same name, so the title was changed to avoid legal issues.  Rumor has it the title "Night of the Living Dead" was given to the film by the distributor as a last minute decision.  Other than the fact that there was supposed to be another film with the name Night of the Flesh Eaters back in the 1960s, I haven't heard much about the other rumored film.  However, none of this information has much of anything to do with this review other than to clarify for anyone who might be wondering if this is the mysterious 1960s film that forced Romero to change the name of his most famous masterpiece.

The Night of the Flesh Eaters reviewed here was written, directed and edited by J.R. McGarrity and has nothing to do with either film from the 1960s other than bearing the same name.  This Night of the Flesh Eaters is one of those 'So bad it's good' films that are actually getting harder and harder to find.  These days, most bad films just seem to be, well, bad.  Unlike many no budget independent films today, Night of the Flesh Eaters is pretty damn enjoyable!  A big part of that is due to the quality of the filming, the special effects, makeup and good editing.  For a clearly low budget film, Night of the Flesh Eaters is filmed with good shot composition and pretty damn good lighting too, especially considering it's shot exclusively outside at night.  All of that, combined with the solid editing, results in a movie that's easy to watch in spite of the dialog and acting.  For the most part, the acting is very silly and the dialog is ridiculous, but it's the kind of silly acting and ridiculous dialog that makes for a good 'bad' movie.  Still, if there was an 'overacting' award, lead actor James Lemire would definitely at least get a nomination!  Probably the best performance in the film was Gia Franzia...up until the point where the gag was taken out of her mouth.  Seriously though, although the acting seemed silly and over the top for the first few minutes of the film, it quickly became clear that it was all part of the film's style and charm.    

The makeup and monster effects, courtesy of Tom Devlin of 1313FX, are actually pretty damn good.  They aren't mind blowing by today's standards, but they're as good as most of the average budget B-Movie monster effects from the 1980s.  Mr. Devlin has quite a resume in low-budget film effects including work on the Troma film, Poultrygeist, so it's really no surprise that he did a good job here.  When it come to the gore, I would have liked more quantity, but there is a fair amount and what was there was relatively well done.  Maybe not quite as good as the standard 1980s horror gore, but close enough that the gore is definitely respectable for a film of this budget.  Although there is no nudity, there is a hot babe (played by Jessica Green) running around the forest in her bra and panties, but that's about it for skin.

Although Night of the Flesh Eaters won't be winning any awards for the story, it's actually pretty clever for a film of this kind.  Plus, it has good pacing and at 82 minutes, it short enough that it doesn't drag.  It starts out looking like your basic guy-kills-cheating-wife-and-boyfriend plot, but there are a couple of unexpected twists before you get into the monsterfest.  Once the monsters start coming, they don't stop until the movie is over.  What the monsters may lack in quality (which really isn't all that lacking to begin with), they more than make up for with quantity.  I can't think of another horror movie with a greater variety of monsters than Night of the Flesh Eaters!  If you like a good 'bad' movie, Night of the Flesh Eaters should be on your list of movies to see!

Gore-o-meter rating: 3 out of 5
(There's a fair amount of decent gore)

Skin-o-meter: 0.5 out of 5 (One girl in a bra and panties.)