Burning Dead

April 30, 2017 at 10:15 pm (5 Heads, Burning Dead) (, , )

Burning Dead – 2004 – United States

Jim returns to his hometown fifteen years after its destruction in a catastrophic fire. Although his memories are hazy, since that day, Jim has been haunted by horrific dreams. He is so disturbed that he can’t hold a job, meet a girlfriend, or stay in one place. To confront his fears, Jim drifts about his hometown, visiting people and places he once knew. His memory of the traumatic night slowly returns, and he suffers hallucinations of walking incinerated corpses. It turns out, as a boy, Jim was apprenticed to a Satanic priest. When the priest ordered Jim to sacrifice his sweetheart, Jim refused and lit the priest on fire, leading (improbably) to the town’s fiery destruction. Now, to put the burning dead to rest, Jim confronts his dark past and reunites with his lost sweetheart.

Burning Dead is an amateur horror movie with all the expected shortcomings. The acting, shooting, editing, and effects vary between utilitarian and laughable, but Burning Dead benefits from its mysterious and twisty plot. Most of the movie is spent developing Jim’s fragile mental state. He comes across as self-pitying and occasionally unintelligent. The lead actor tries admirably, but his character is pretty irritating. Scenes of him trying to win back his (already engaged) ex-girlfriend are especially pathetic and hard to watch.

Burning Dead is set in the fictional town of Maxwell (a sign is defaced to read “MaxHell”) in Tennessee. The town’s historic fire makes an interesting backdrop for the horror plot. If only it was better developed.

Rating: 5/10 Shrunken Heads. Dig those Tennessee accents!

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