Dead Kansas is a Schlock Filled Masterpiece [Review]

Dead Kansas

Do you remember the late 80's and early 90's VHS explosion? It was a time, mostly for horror, when all you need was a few bucks, a camcorder, some awesome box art and you had yourself a feature ready to ship to every mom and pop video store in the USA.  Sure a lot of the titles sucked, but some of them were so bad they were good. Movies like Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Frankenhooker and basically anything with  Linnea Quigley in it. Dead Kansas falls into this category, even if it is 25 years late.

Dead Kansas is a zombie movie, but you really don't see the zombies you just get their P.O.V. shots and they make a sound that sounds like a high tension bridge snapping. It's bizarre, but just one of the may things that makes this cheese fest good bad. The main story is about  a farmer and his teenage daughter struggle to survive, while an unruly gang plots to kidnap and sell the girl for their own selfish profit. But at the same time they are constantly under attack from The Rotten.

The movie for all its flaws manages to tell a complete story and actually has a kickass soundtrack. The camera shots were decent and the main cast isn't the worst I've ever seen, but the rough delivery of the dialogue makes you want to keep watching (like a really bad car wreck). The main girl Emma is the focus of the movie. But the kicker is that she's actually played by two different girls and I kid you not, halfway through the movie the actress is swapped. I've no idea why or how it happened but it just added to the awesomeness. They just keep going like nothing happened and it's the same girl.

Two cameos to be on the lookout for are Ben Woolf (Meep from American Horror Story) and Irwin Keyes (Ravelli from House of a 1000 Corpses). They have a secure camp down the road filled with freaks from the circus.

The shinning star, though, through the whole movie is Michael Camp. He plays Jebediah the villain. He deliver a performance that is humorous, stiff, over-the-top  and if this was 1980 he'd be the lead in every straight-to-VHS horror movie. Think Peter Spellos from Sorority House Massacre II, just not as odd looking.

All told, this is what a good bad movie should be and is worth, at the least, a one time watch for fans of an era gone bye. It might be filled with schlock, but it's the schlock I like and takes me back to my childhood scanning VHS titles in the local mom and pop video store.

My hats off to Aaron K. Carter, he did what many talk about but few ever do. If he had a bigger budget and more experienced actors, I could see him telling a legit full feature. He knows what he is doing, he just needs to keep at it.

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