Night of the Living Dorks
Director: Mathias Dinter
Writers: Mathias Dinter
Producers: Mischa Hofmann, Philip Voges
Starring: Tino Mewes, Manuel Cortez, Thomas Schmieder, Collien Fernandes, Hendrik Borgmann, Nadine Germann
Country: Germany
MPAA Rating: NR
Running time: 89 min
read my spoiler disclaimer

by Andrew James
     With the "ugly" title and uninteresting looking promotional posters, this German film from 2004 was the film I was LEAST looking forward to at The After Dark Festival in Toronto. Fortunately, films that look uninteresting or sound stupid to me, often times surprise me and I end up enjoing myself a great deal. Thankfully, Night of the Living Dorks falls right in line and made my 2 hours in the cinema an enjoyable one.

      Dorks starts out "some time ago" in Haiti, when a flesh eating zombie busts into an unsuspecting family's house where the maid bursts in just in time to save the family by frying the creature to a crisp on the spot with a flame-thrower. Somehow, the ashes end up on an online auction where some goth, German teenagers take possesion and decide to use it for a love ritual. The ritual is botched and three other nerdy teens are infected in a way they never could imagine. On the way home, they smoke some pot, end up crashing into a tree and wake up in the morgue feeling great. Stitches are unnecessary as they find a staple gun and that seems to work just fine.

      The movie is kind of a Revenge of the Nerds meets the zombie genre. And, as I said, it sounds horribly stupid, but it actually works well with some cleverly written dialogue and an interesting cast. I found myself laughing quite often or at the very least, a big slap-happy grin plastered to my face through almost the whole experience.

      Take any teen party movie you remember from the 80's and this has many similarities. One being the typical high school party while the parents are away that comes with any teenage movie, but is completely preposterous and never happens in real life. The jokes about being popular or a nerd are all here. This is what a zombie movie would be like had John Hughes written it. Complete with the gratuitous boob shots.

      Some of the jokes were a little cheesy and truly "nerdy," but for the most part, it is very clever and delivers at every turn. The cast really tries to make the most of what they are given. They use becoming a zombie as a popularity device. Though they are starting to decay and fall apart (including the genitalia), it's nothing a staple gun can't fix right? They are stronger than the jocks, can drink like no one ever could before and are all of sudden very popular with the ladies. But a cure must be found before they completely fall apart.

      This is not the Shaun of the Dead rip-off you might think. It is an intersting blend of traditional teen movies of the 80's and zombie lore. It isn't much like your typical zombie film in any way. It is far more a teen comedy straight out of the 80s. It's a movie that seems like I shouldn't like it, but I really did. I guess I'm just a geek at heart myself, and with an equal amount of love for zombie films, I can take this for what it is and even empathize a bit with the characters. This seems to be the general consensus among other critics as well, so if you can find it (good luck), check out Night of the Living Dorks. It's fun and not hip.


Press "PLAY" to watch the trailer

Links: - full cast and crew