Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch

The Dance of the Dead episode of Best Horror Movie You Never Saw was Written by Cody Hamman, Narrated by Jason Hewlett, Edited by Juan Jimenez, Produced by John Fallon and Tyler Nichols, and Executive Produced by Berge Garabedian.

Did you ever wonder what it would be like if the zombie apocalypse coincided with prom night? The dead are rising from their graves and calling for brains. Disrupting a school event that is supposed to be a memorable moment for a teenager. This is what happens in the film Dance Of The Dead from 2008 (watch it HERE). It would have made a great sequel for The Return of the Living Dead, if it was part of the franchise. It’s the best horror movie you’ve never seen. In 1997, Joe Ballarini attended the University of Southern California. Joe Ballarini was hanging out with friends who rented horror films on VHS. Ballarini and his friends watched George A. Romero’s

Dawn of the Dead… but despite it being widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films ever made, the zombies let him down. He didn’t like the slow, lumbering meat-eaters. He wanted fast zombies in an explosive, funny film. He wanted something like Dan O’Bannon’s The Return of the Living Dead by Dan O’Bannon. Ballarini read the book Already dead at the same time he watched Dawn Of The Dead. Ballarini’s inspiration for his own zombie film came from the line “And we faintly listened to the dance the dead”. Dance Of The Dead is about a zombie epidemic on prom night. A quickly-paced horror comedy with fast-moving zombies.Ballarini showed the script to his classmate Gregg Bishop, who was so impressed by it that he said he wanted to direct the movie. Ballarini told Bishop that it was his idea to direct the movie, but only if Bishop could raise the money. Bishop took ten years to find the money, but he finally did. He made the movie. The caretaker of the cemetery is not telling anyone about the strange events that are happening in the graveyard due to a leakage from the nuclear power plant. He simply clips off the zombie parts that are sticking out of the earth. Then he drops the writhing appendages into his wheelbarrow. But he will not be able keep this secret much longer. The zombie outbreak occurs on the night of the prom at Cosa High School. The dead rise from their graves in a cemetery. The zombies don’t just crawl out of the ground. These things burst out of the ground as if they were launched from a katapult. Some of them catch several feet in the air. Some run to the ground. The zombies in Cosa have the same weakness that Romero’s films had. If you destroy a brain, you will destroy a ghoul.Among the characters we follow in Cosa as the dead wreck havoc are Jared Kusnitz’s irreverent pizza boy Jimmy Dunn. Greyson Chadwick plays Jimmy’s girlfriend Lindsey who has decided to attend prom with someone else. This date is a disaster. It’s bad before the guy is ripped to pieces. Chandler Darby plays the nerdy Steven. Carissa Capobianco plays cheerleader Gwen. She was hoping to go along with Blair Redford’s character Nash Rambler. Lead singer of The Quarter Punks. Lucas Till is Jensen, and Hunter Pierce is Dave the drummer. The Quarter Punks were rejected from the prom after they auditioned. The school doesn’t like their music. It’s like that “You’re too loud” moment from Back To The Future. The Quarter Punks end up playing the prom just like Marty McFly. After they learn that their music has a calming affect on zombies, they decide to play at the prom. Ballarini’s inspiration to write scenes about zombies stopping to listen to music came from his experience at live music concerts where he did not see anyone dancing. The audience would stand and stare at the musicians. Justin Welborn, who plays redneck bully Kyle Grubbin, is also fighting for his life against the living dead. Mark Oliver as soldier-turned-phys-ed-teacher Coach Keel. James Jarrett plays the sketchy gravedigger. Bishop held auditions in Los Angeles and Atlanta for the cast. Six hundred young actors auditioned for the role of Cosa high school students. He was looking for kids who were good improvisers and could bring their personalities to their roles. He wanted kids who looked like they were in high school. He didn’t think

Dance Of The Dead

should be another teen film where the actors were a decade older than the characters. He did an excellent job of assembling a cast that looked age-appropriate. Justin Welborn was the only exception. He was a decade older than the character he played, but he still made the best choice. He steals the show whenever he is on screen. She was called Lydia and was the lead. Originally, the zombie outbreak was going to have a completely different cause. There was no nuclear plant. The story began when a cheerleader named Lydia discovered that Mister Hammond, a biology teacher, had murdered three of Lydia’s friends. He uses the blood of his students to summon the dead. Lydia escapes the devil-worshipping instructor, then the police arrive. He is shot dead. Jump forward a year. Lydia has become goth. Lydia has gone goth. The actress left the project less than two weeks prior to the start of filming. Bishop and Ballarini could not let Dance Of The Dead fall apart. It had taken ten years to get the project off the ground. They scrambled for a solution to the Lydia problem. They quickly realized that they didn’t need this character. She didn’t do much in the second act, even though she was the main character. She didn’t move the story forward. The decision was made to remove her completely and focus on Jimmy and Lindsey. Bishop said that he did not feel connected to Lydia but he felt it with Jimmy and Lindsey, because “they were the most real, most interesting and the characters we loved.” Ballarini thought they deserved to be the main characters, because “they are those who suffer the greatest.” The story is about them saving each other. Fueled by cigarettes and Red Bull he quickly reworked his script. Lydia was removed, and around thirty pages of the script went with it. Jimmy and Lindsey had more work. The Necronomicon has been replaced with nuclear waste. And in the long run, the filmmakers felt the last minute script changes were an improvement.Ballarini told Daily Dead, “Thank God that girl dropped out, because the Lydia / Necronomicon story was really ridiculous. It was actually a great lesson on writing. It’s because

Dance Of The Dead has a human touch that makes it a good film. The characters are teenagers. It’s about the kids. It’s about the kids.”Although Lydia was removed from the script, Mister Hammond the biology teacher is still in the finished film. Jonathan Spencer plays the role. He’s still a jerk in this version, but he’s not a homicidal madman. The production of Dance of the Dead

took place in Rome, Georgia. This was chosen because the location had a vacant high school that could be used. Then, some additional photography took place in Los Angeles. The total number of days spent on set is now around forty. After the film made its festival rounds, Lionsgate signed a deal to distribute it. It was selected as one of the eight first movies released under the Ghost House Underground imprint. Sam Raimi, who is a filmmaker with a long history of working on the Necronomicon, was in charge of this imprint. Rob Tapert has been Raimi’s producer partner since the start of his career, even before

Dance of the Dead The Best Horror Movie You Never Saw

The Evil Dead. He told AMC: “Over the years we were sent different movies to check out certain directors. We’d check in on them later and find that the film had been picked up and never released by some company. The filmmakers were ripped off. We decided to enter the direct-to video consumer business ourselves. As for why they selected Dance Of The Dead

as part of the Ghost House Underground lineup, Tapert explained, “This is a movie Sam Raimi, myself, and another associate watched together on a Sunday afternoon. We howled and howled until Sam Raimi’s wife and children began banging on the door of his office, asking if we were okay. I’ve seen it at least five times.”

When the film The Evil Dead provides so much entertainment for those guys, the filmmakers must have done something right. When

Dance Of The Dead first hit home video, it received a good amount of attention. It quickly became a cult favorite, and with good reason. This low-budget horror comedy zombie film is a worthy successor of Shaun of the Dead


Dance of the Dead The Best Horror Movie You Never Saw

The Return of the Living Dead. If it had been released as Return of the Living Dead Parts 6 it could have saved the franchise from the messiness of the parts 4 and 5.1001010Ballarini dreamed of turning Dance of the Dead in to its own franchise. He imagined a trilogy which would have followed Nash Rambler in his adventures during the zombie apocalypse. There would have been scenes with kids riding bikes in sewers. Bottle rockets fired at zombies. Coach Keel driving an armored tank. Nuclear meltdown. But the idea to make

Dance Of The Dead 2, and 3 never gained enough traction for the films to be produced. Maybe it’s because Dance of the Dead was never as popular as it could have been. It has almost faded away. It’s a shame, because the movie is a blast.Ballarini wrote a really fun script… then had to change it substantially in a hurry right before production. The film doesn’t seem to be the result of a hasty rewrite. Dance Of The Dead is the perfect movie. Jimmy and Lindsey make for likeable, likable leads, and they are surrounded by a great supporting cast. Bishop, Ballarini and the actors make almost every character in this movie believable. Jimmy and Lindsey; Steven and Gwen; The Quarter Punks; the Sci-Fi Guys and Coach Keel. We want to see these characters survive the zombie outbreak. There are just too many characters to survive this. It’s sad when someone is bitten or torn to pieces. If we had met Kyle on a normal school day, he would not have been liked by us. He’s the kind of person that our heroes need by their side when all heck breaks loose. This apocalyptic situation gives Kyle the chance to smash faces and tear things up… It’s just another day. It’s funny to see him become friends with the people he normally pushes around. As Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert can attest, Dance Of The Deadis a highly entertaining film. It moves at a fast speed, with many amusing moments and fun character interactions. There is also zombie mayhem. Our heroes are at the high school to save the kids from the prom. Most of them are too late. The place is filled with zombies. The idea is to blow up the school with the dead inside. Jimmy and Lindsey are in the gym when they set off bombs. Around prom-goers who have turned into flesh-eaters. It’s not looking good for them. The Quarter Punks then take the stage, and begin playing a cover of Pat Benatar’s “Shadows of the Night”. If you are a fan of zombie films, you should definitely check out Dance of the Dead. This zombie movie is worth watching, even if you’ve been burned by sub-par entries of the sub-genre over the past few years. It’s a hidden gem, a cult film that needs to be seen by a larger cult. Sam Raimi and others have been part of the Dance of the Dead

group for 15 years. Below are a couple of previous episodes from the Best horror movie you never saw series. To see more, and to check out some of our other shows, head over to the JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channel – and subscribe while you’re there!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmGTCZE0XMghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRs7sIV5Yn4

Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch