CORPSES  
Reviewed by GoreZone Magazine, UK
 
Whilst director Rolfe Kanefsky had some critical success with his first feature film There's Nothing Out There, the film was not a resounding commercial success, and the popularity of the similarly-themed Scream, which was released soon after, saw that the film almost went by unnoticed.

Disillusioned after the success of that film, he spent lots of time working on various projects whilst honing his filmmaking skills.
He returned in 2004 with the hilarious horror comedy The Hazing which was highly regarded by critics across the world. His latest movie, the zombedy Corpses, demonstrates that he still likes to mix horror with humour.

The film, which deals with the bumbling mortician Fred (Robert Donovan), sees him develop a serum which allows him to reanimate the dead for one hour at a time.

The zombies do his dirty work for him, which mainly involves getting back at two-dollar whore ex-wife Helen, and her new beau the town sheriff. The zombies soon discover however that Fred has no more serum, and they run rampant through the town.

Kanefsky had just completed The Hazing  when he was approached by York Entertainment about the already in development project.
"I had a little time, they had a poster and a one-page concept, and I had five days to knock off the whole script and turned the whole thing into a dark comedy."

With genre favourite Tony Todd in line to play the role of the mortician, York suddenly informed Kanefsky that Todd was off the project and a replacement was required, so he saw his opportunity to cast Kanefsky regular Robert Donavan. He said of the actor, "I knew Robert would be perfect, I fought for him and won. I have worked with him on eight previous films. [He] is a great comedy actor and I was delighted to be able to give [him] a leading role."

For his other lead roles, York gave Kanefsky a list of name stars to chose from, including Wolfgang Puck, Pete Rose, Anna Nicole Smith's son, and even Monica Lewinsky. [York] had recently made a film called Alien 51 starring Heidi Fleiss, so they thought this process of "stunt casting" was a good idea. Of all the names on the shortlist, Kanefsky immediately highlighted two, and then had to choose between either Gary Busey or Jeff Fahey. "Both can and have been wonderful in the past, but I heard Busey was having a lot of problems so I pushed for Fahey. Luckily, he liked the script and agreed to do it."

For his other lead, Rolfe already had his heart set on Screm Queen Tiffany Shepis and she jumped aboard as a result of the fun times she spent with Rolfe during the making of The Hazing. I chatted to Tiffany not long after production wrapped and she seemed to be excited about the fact that Jeff Fahey played her dad in the movie. As for the movie, she described it as a "fun little film," saying that the cast and crew "don't call it horror 'cause it kind of has a crazy Troma vibe to it. We're calling it a zombedy."

Despite the fun tone of the film, the production was anything but. The presence of an overbearing and interfering studio, coupled with an incompetent producer, saw the film meet a number of problems, all of which tested Kanefsky's patience. (see a related review, Dr. Chopper, for more details).

The 35mm feature film had a shooting schedule of 12 days and $100,000 budget which Kanefsky tells me producer Mark Headly "pocketed half of." This was only the beginning of the problems, which included a number of issues with permits, locations, film stock, cast and crew bickering, and even a secret shoot organized by the producer to which the director was not invited!

Despite all of the above, Kanefsky hopes that horror fans will see past the problems. "I'll be very curious to see what people think of it. If you wind up seeing the film and enjoying it, it is a miracle. You might like it, because for some strange reason, it kinda works in its own weird way."

 
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Corpses