Rise of the Dead


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is a low budget indie horror film shot on location in Athens and Marietta, Ohio, employing many actors and actresses with limited film credentials.

The story centers around Laura, a young woman who delivered a baby a few years earlier then gave it up for adoption. The adoption didn't work out well for the baby. The first couple who adopted him were religious nuts who determined that the baby was evil because of his mother's sinful ways. They gave him up and, worse than that, placed a curse on him. It was a rather effective curse at that, because the baby's next stepfather left a loaded gun on a table and ... well, you can use your imagination.

Unfortunately for the baby and everyone in Athens, Ohio, the curse was not the kind that expires upon death. It was one of those eternal curses and, hoo-boy, is that dead baby pissed off about that. He is now using his dead baby ghost powers to rise from the dead and get revenge on all three sets of his parents. He is able to do this because he can completely take over any human body, and after he does so he uses that body's familiar and trusted countenance to get near his potential victims, then rips them to shreds with sharp objects. Although he is trapped inside a normal human body with no superpowers, he is more or less unstoppable because if his potential victim turns the tables and kills him, he just moves to another body, and if his attacker manages to bind him somehow, he just commits suicide with that body and moves on in that manner.

After some initial confusion, Laura finally figures out what's going on, but of course nobody will believe her, much to their eventual regret, so the body count multiplies quickly. The only really intriguing element of the film is the mystery of how Laura can defeat such an apparently undefeatable juggernaut.

The micro-budgeted production is a typical straight-to-disc effort, only 72 minutes long, with minimal character development, mundane dialogue, and performances which are sometimes weak enough to break the fourth wall. On the other hand, the direction is not so bad. The grey ambience of a Northern winter and some spooky music combine to lend an ominous tone, and some of the scenes are edited effectively enough to maintain the appropriate amount of suspense while the ghost baby lurks somewhere in the shadows. It's not a very good film, but given that it comes from a first-time director, it's good enough to make you wonder what he might do with some money, a decent script, and a competent cast.


On the guilty pleasure genre scale:

(1) The gore is insignificant. There's some blood, and a knife occasionally penetrates skin on camera, but it's basically done in the 1970s style, and not with modern explicitness. I doubt that they had the budget for convincing gore effects.

(2) On the other hand, nudity is within everyone's budget, so there's some nice skin in this film. (See the nudity report for details.)

Given a decent effort by the director and some clear nudity, I'd call it a minimally watchable genre film. Mainstream viewers should stay away, but genre buffs will probably find some scenes worth watching for one reason or another. I, for example, enjoyed Jaime Whitlock's nude scene.


* widescreen anamorphic

* running time: 72 min







No reviews online.


3.5 IMDB summary (of 10)

The score is statistically meaningless, but the final result will be about the same.



Straight to DVD.


  • A actress named Jaime Whitlock, playing Laura's roommate, walks around naked for quite some time and flashes some very attractive buns and breasts before being killed. (Jaime also did make-up and costumes for this mini-budget film, and I assume she performed those functions fully clothed in an Ohio winter, but she has the kind of healthy young body that should be naked as much as possible.)
  • A second actress named Jamie Lewis shows her breasts in a spirited sex scene which knocks off her glasses. After the coitus becomes interruptus, she is possessed by the killer ghost baby and comes after a victim carrying an axe, still stark naked, thus finally delivering the coveted full frontal scene and the forty off-camera whacks.

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a: